Medicago sativa L.
Family: Fabaceae
alfalfa
Medicago sativa image
Merel R. Black  
Etymology: Medicago: derived from Medike, or medick, the Greek name for alfalfa, which came to Greece from Medea
Plants: erect, perennial, 1'-3' tall forb; slender stems; deep roots
Leaves: stalked, 3-parted, long and narrow
Flowers: purple to cream, 5-parted, 1/4"-1/2" long, calyx not 2-lipped; inflorescence a stalked, rounded to cylindrical, head-like cluster (raceme) of short-stalked flowers; blooms June-Sept.
Fruits: finely-hairy pod
Habitat: disturbed sites
Hazardous: Careful, this plant is hazardous!
Conservation Status: Introduced - naturalized
Medicago sativa image
Matthew L. Wagner  
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Robert Bierman  
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Merel R. Black  
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Merel R. Black  
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Stephen L. Solheim  
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Botanical Illustration  
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Kurt Stüber  
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