Alfalfa, Lucerne, Purple Medic, Trefoil
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Alfalfa, lucerne (Medicago sativa, Linn.). A deep-rooted perennial forage plant of the Leguminosae;. The plant grows one to four feet high, bears pinnate leaves with three ovate-oblong toothed leaflets, and small head-like racemes of purple clover-shaped flowers. It is native to Europe. In the arid parts of the United States it is the staple hay and forage plant, and it is also grown to a considerable extent in the East. Two to six mowings may be made, each year from established meadows. Fifteen to thirty pounds of seed are sown to the acre; and the seed is preferably sown alone, without another crop. Alfalfa should not be pastured the first year. In two or three years it becomes thoroughly established and productive, and it should continue for many years. June-grass often runs it out in a cool, moist climate. Alfalfa often becomes a weed in waste places. CH
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Pests and diseases
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M. sativa subsp. ambigua
M. sativa subsp. microcarpa
M. sativa subsp. sativa
M. sativa subsp. varia
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963