Medicago sativa
alfalfa, lucerne
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Introduced as a forage crop in the temperate regions of the world

Habitat: Near cultivated fields, roadsides, often on dry ground

Flowers: June - October

Origin: Introduced

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Description:
General:

Usually glabrous perennial from a long taproot, the stems more or less erect, 3-10 dm. tall.

Leaves:

Leaves trifoliate, the leaflets elliptic-oblanceolate, finely dentate on the outer end, 2-4 cm. long. stipules entire.

Flowers:

Inflorescence of dense racemes on peduncles 1-3 cm, long arising in the leaf axils; flowers 20-100, usually bluish-purple, but often whitish, yellow, or even pink; calyx 5-toothed, nearly as long as the corolla; corolla pea-like, 4-5 mm. long, the banner erect, much longer than the wings and keel.

Fruits:

Pod many-seeded, coiled in 2-3 spirals, not armed.

Accepted Name:
Medicago sativa L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 778-779. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Infraspecies:
ssp. falcata – alfalfa, lucerne
ssp. sativa – alfalfa, lucerne
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Medicago sativa in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Medicago sativa checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Medicago sativa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Medicago sativa photos.

USDA Plants: Medicago sativa information.

30 photographs:
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