Aeschynomene Information

 Aeschynomene Americana Deer Vetch

Joint Vetch (AKA: Deer Vetch or Aeschynomene)

Warm season reseeding annual legume

Uses: Aeschynomene is also known as deer vetch or American joint vetch. Used in Food plots for deer, turkey, rabbit, and quail.

Joint vetch is best suited for moist, fertile soils as it is much more tolerant of wet conditions than drought. It is known to have moderate shade tolerance.

These plants can reach 3 to 5 feet tall when mature and are generally very high in protein and quality for deer. Aeschynomene's attractiveness to wildlife will persist into the fall months until first frost, making it a favorite of bow hunters.

Planting Information:

Best For: Food Plots for Deer, Turkey, Rabbit, and Quail


C. G. Chambliss, R. S. Kalmbacher and M. B. Adjei2

Aeschynomene is a warm-season annual legume adapted to moist sites throughout the state, but it is mainly grown in South Florida. Seed of two species are commercially available to producers: Aeschynomene americana, also known as common aeschynomene, joint vetch or deer vetch, and a newly available species Aeschynomene evenia, which has no common name.

Common aeschynomene growing with Limpograss (Hemarthria).

Aeschynomene americana, or common aeschynomene, is a true annual that flowers and produces seed in the early fall. Plants usually die after seed has matured, but the stand can be managed to re-seed and maintain itself in good production for several years after first establishement. Common aeschynomene has a high nutritive value and is very palatable to cattle and deer. It has been used in the cattle industry and for wildlife plantings for many years.

Aeschynomene evenia is a short-lived perennial. Plants stay green during the fall until frost. In South Florida during a mild winter, plants will live through the winter and put out new growth in the spring. It flowers and makes seed throughout the year. Aeschynomene evenia has a characteristic smell. The nutritive value of Aeschynomene evenia is similar to common aeschynomene, but unlike common aeschynomene (deer vetch), it is not immediately palatable to cattle. Cattle need time to adapt to this legume and they will only graze small plants. Do not let evenia plants become large and stemmy, because cattle will not graze them and they simply become weeds. It has been observed that in a mixture of common aeschynomene and Aeschynomene evenia, deer grazed the common aeschynomene but did not graze the Aeschynomene evenia. Additional experience with growing and utilizing Aeschynomene evenia is needed. The cultural practices recommended in this publication apply to common aeschynomene, but are believed to be approximately the same for Aeschynomene evenia.