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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Alfalfa - Medicago sativa

Non-native Species

Global Rank: GNR
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 0

External Links

General Description
Deep-rooted perennial. Stems ascending, 30–80 cm. Herbage glabrate to sparsely villous. Leaflets oblanceolate, 1–3 cm long. Inflorescence 1–5 cm long with 10 to 40 flowers. Flowers purple or white, 7–12 mm long; calyx 4–7 mm long; sepals longer than the tube. Legume circular in 2 to 3 spirals, 3–5 mm wide, veiny, sparsely villous (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
Widely cultivated for forage and hay.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 126

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)


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Citation for data on this website:
Alfalfa — Medicago sativa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from