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*Medicago sativa Linnaeus. Alfalfa, Lucerne, Blue Alfalfa, Yellow Alfalfa, Sickle Medick. Phen: Apr-Jul (-Oct). Hab: Roadsides, fields, disturbed areas. Dist: Native of Europe and sw. Asia.

Origin/Endemic status: Europe

Taxonomy Comments: Havananda et al. (2010) explain the complex evolution of the M. sativa complex, including its selection for human uses. Small & Jomphe (1989) recognize various subspecies and varieties within the complex. Given the complex human-influenced set of morphotypes, of diploid, allotetraploid, and autotetraploid origin, their interfertility, and the difficulties of associating American material with European wild taxa, I reluctantly take the same approach as Yatskievych (2013) in treating M. sativa as a practical unit without taxonomic subdivisions.

Synonymy: = Ar, Bah, NcTx; > Medicago ×varia – Mi; > Medicago falcata – F, G, Il, Mi, NE, NY, S, SE3, Isely (1998); > Medicago falcata × sativa – NY; > Medicago sativa L. – F, Fl3, G, Il, Mi, NE, NY, Pa, RAB, S, SE3, Tn, Tx, Va, W, WH3, WV, Isely (1998), Woods & Orcutt (2017); > Medicago sativa L. ssp. falcata (L.) Arcang. – C, GrPl, K1, K3, K4; > Medicago sativa L. ssp. sativa – C, GrPl, K1, K3, K4

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image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Jim Fowler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷