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aturalized Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Alfalfa, Buffalo Herb, Lucerne, Purple Medic • Gujarati: ગદબ Gadab, ઘોડાઘાસ Ghodaghaas, લચકો Lachko, રજકો Rajako, વિલાયતી ઘાસ Vilayati Ghas, વિલાયતી મેથી Vilayati Methi • Hindi: अल्फाल्फा Alfalfa, लुसन घास Lusan Ghas, रिज़का Rizka • Kachchhi: રીંજકો Rinjako • Kannada: ಆಲ್ಫಾಲ್ಫ Alphalpha, ಕುದುರೆ ಮಸಾಲೆ ಸೊಪ್ಪು Kudure Masaale Soppu, ಲುಸರ್ನೆ ಸೊಪ್ಪು Lusarne Soppu, ವಿಲಾಯಿತಿ ಹುಲ್ಲು Vilaayiti Hullu • Kashmiri: बेरसीन् Baerseen • Konkani: लसुन घास Lasun Ghaas, लुजेन Luzen • Ladakhi: Yarkandi Ole • Malayalam: അൽഫാൽഫ Alphaalpha, ലുസേൺ Lusen • Marathi: लसूण घास Lasun Ghas, लुजेन Lujen, विलायती गवत Vilayati Gavat • Nepali: लुसर्न घाँस Lusarna Ghaansa • Punjabi: ਅਲਫਾਲਫਾ Alaphalapha, ਦੁਰੇਸ਼ਤਾ Dureshta, ਲੂਸਣ Lusana, ਸਿੰਝੀ Sinjhi • Rajasthani: रिज़का Rijka • Sanskrit: अश्वाबला Ashvabala • Tamil: குதிரை மசால் Kutirai Macal • Telugu: అల్ఫాల్ఫా Alphalpha • Urdu: برسیم Bersim Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Medicago sativa    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)

Alfalfa is a perennial herb with stems erect or sometimes prostrate, 0.3–1 m long, 5-25 or more per crown, much-branched, 4-angled. Rhizome is stout, penetrating the soil as much as 7-9 m. Stipules are united up to 1/3-1/2 of the length - free portion is triangular-lanceshaped, tapering, basally entire or with 1–2 teeth. Leaves are trifoliolate - leaflets are obovate- oblong, ovate or linear, tapering to base, toothed above middle, 1-4.5 cm long, 3–10 mm broad, smooth or appressed hairy, paler green beneath. Flower racemes are oval or rounded, 1-2.5 cm long, 1-2 cm broad, arising in leaf axils, 5-40-flowered. Stalk carrying the cluster is slender, firm, always exceeding the subtending leaf. Sepal cup is tubular, with linear- subulate teeth longer then tube. Flowers are yellow or blue to purple or violet, 6-15 mm long. Pod is 3-9 mm in diameter, with 2-3 spirals, prominently net-veined. Seeds are 6 or 8 per pod. Alfalfa is widely grown throughout the world as forage for cattle, and is most often harvested as hay. Alfalfa has the highest feeding value of all common hay crops, being used less frequently as pasture. Flowering: May-July.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Leh, Ladakh.

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