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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Alfalfa - Medicago sativa

Non-native Species

Global Rank: GNR
State Rank: SNA
C-value: 0


Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:


 

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 et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range

Non-native
 


Range Comments
Widely cultivated for forage and hay.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 339

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

Recency

 

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



Habitat

Ecology
POLLINATORS
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus appositus, Bombus borealis, Bombus fervidus, Bombus huntii, Bombus nevadensis, Bombus rufocinctus, Bombus ternarius, Bombus terricola, Bombus occidentalis, Bombus pensylvanicus, Bombus bimaculatus, Bombus griseocollis, and Bombus impatiens (Hobbs 1968, Thorp et al. 1983, Mayer et al. 2000, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Koch et al. 2012, Williams et al. 2014).

Management

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141: 39-68.
    • Hobbs, G.A. 1968. Ecology of species of Bombus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in southern Alberta. VII. Subgenus Bombus. Canadian Entomologist 100(2): 156-164.
    • Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Mayer, D.F., E.R. Miliczky, B.F. Finnigan, and C.A. Johnson. 2000. The bee fauna (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of southeastern Washington. Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 97: 25-31.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Adhikari, S. 2018. Impacts of dryland farming systems on biodiversity, plant-insect interactions, and ecosystem services. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 207 p.
    • Adhikari, S., L.A. Burkle, K.M. O'Neill, C.M. Delphia, D.K. Weaver, and F.D. Menalled. 2019. Dryland organic farming partially offsets negative effects of highly simplified agricultural landscapes on forbs, bees, and bee-flower networks. Environmental Entomology 48(4): 826-835.
    • Bess, J.A. 1997. The leafhopper species assemblages associated with native and replanted grasslands in southwest Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 94 p.
    • Boggs, K. W. 1984. Succession in riparian communities of the lower Yellowstone River, Montana. M.S. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman, 107 pp.
    • Butler, M.A. 1996. The validity of using artificial nests to assess nest-predation rates in prairie nesting ducks. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 82 p.
    • Cope, M.G. 1992. Distribution, habitat selection and survival of transplanted Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) in the Tobacco Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 60 p.
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
    • Donahoo, C.K. 2019. Mortality dynamics and life tables of Megachile rotundata. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 58 p.
    • Egan, J.L. 1957. Some relationships between mule deer and alfalfa production in Powder River County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 34 p.
    • Foster, J.W. 1977. Impact of off-road vehicle traffic on soils and vegetation on rangeland in southeastern Montana and photographic monitoring of the effects. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 168 p.
    • Fritzen, D.E. 1995. Ecology and behavior of Mule Deer on the Rosebud Coal Mine, Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 143 p.
    • Fuller, W.L. 1997. Elk management strategies for sustainable beef cattle enterprises. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montnaa State University. 92 p.
    • Gillespie, R.L.1992. Dynamics of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) at a rangeland-crop interference. Ph.D. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 111 p.
    • Harvey, S.J. 1990. Responses of steppe plants to gradients of water soil texture and disturbance in Montana, U.S.A. Ph.D. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 34 p.
    • Hodgson, J.R. 1970. Ecological distribution of Microtus montanus and Microtus pennsylvanicus in an area of geographic sympatry in southwestern Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 65 p.
    • Holeckek, J.L. 1976. Initial effects of different species treatments and fertilizer rates on a mine spoils rehabilitation. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 91 p.
    • Jensen, P.D. 2001. The foraging and nesting behavior of four solitary-nesting bee species (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in the Gallatin Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 76 p.
    • Johnson, J.D. 2004. Restoring native species to crested wheatgrass dominated rangelands. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 58 p.
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
    • King, L.A. 1980. Effects of topsoiling and other reclamation practices on nonseeded species establishment on surface mined land at Colstrip, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 129 p.
    • Larson, D.P. 1996. Evaluation of sweep sampling as a method for determining grasshopper community composition on rangeland. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 92 p.
    • Meier, G.A. 1997. The colonization of Montana roadsides by native and exotic plants. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 45 p.
    • Miller, C.A. 2000. Carabid Beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) seasonal ocurrence and species composition in northern Montana cropping systems. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 110 p.
    • Miller, P.R., A. Bekkerman, J.A. Homes, C.A. Jones, and R.E. Engel. 2019. Agro-economic returns were reduced for four years after conversion from perennial forage. Agronomy Journal 111:2293-2302.
    • Mundinger, J.G. 1975. The influence of rest-rotation grazing management on waterfowl production on stock-water reservoirs in Phillips County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 100 p.
    • Nyberg, H.E. 1980. Distribution, movements and habitat use of mule deer associated with the Brackett Creek winter range, Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 106 p.
    • O'Connor, K.S. 1987. Ecology of white-tailed deer and mule deer in agricultural lands in the Gallatin Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 67 p.
    • O'Neill, R.P. 2004. Seasonal and spatial patterns of mortality and sex ration in the Alfafa Leafcutting Bee, Megachile rotundata. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 69 p.
    • Parks, J.C. 1986. Plant materials for use on disturbed alpine areas in Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 57 p.
    • Peterson, J.G. 1969. The food habits and summer distribution of juvenile sage grouse in central Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 39 p.
    • Quire, R.L. 2013. The sagebrush steppe of Montana and southeastern Idaho shows evidence of high native plant diversity, stability, and resistance to the detrimental effects of nonnative plant species. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.
    • Rauscher, R.L. 1995. Deer use of irrigated alfalfa along the Yellowstone River, Custer County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 50 p.
    • Rosgaard, A.I., Jr. 1981. Ecology of the mule deer associated with the Brackett Creek winter range in the Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 76 p.
    • Rundquist, V.M. 1973. Avian ecology on stock ponds in two vegetational types in north-central Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 112 p.
    • Schomburg, J.W. 2003. Development and evaluation of predictive models for managing Golden Eagle electrocutions. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State Universtiy. 98 p.
    • Scow, K.L. 1981. Ecological distribution of small mammals at Sarpy Creek, Montana, with special consideration of the Deer Mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
    • Semmens, W.J. 1996. Seasonal movements and habitat use of the Highlands/Pioneer Mountains bighorn sheep herd of southwest Montana. M. Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 103 p.
    • Skilbred, Chester L. 1979. Plant succession on five naturally revegetated strip-mined deposits at Colstrip, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 128 pp.
    • Skinner, K.F. 1995. Plant and grasshopper community composition: indicators & interactions across three spatial scales. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 144 p.
    • Tharp, C.I. 2015. Impacts of three insect growth regulators and the particle barrier film, kaolin, on alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica (Gyllenhal), secondary pest, pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris) and natural enemy complex. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 135 p.
    • Tuinstra, K. E. 1967. Vegetation of the floodplains and first terraces of Rock Creek near Red Lodge, Montana. Ph.D dissertation. Montana State University, Bozeman 110 pp.
    • Zapatka, T.P. 1963. Some results of two limited hunting seasons on hen Pheasants in north central Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 26 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Alfalfa"
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Citation for data on this website:
Alfalfa — Medicago sativa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from