Plant Image

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Medicago sativa - alfalfa

Other Common Names: Lucerne
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Fabaceae

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Patrick Alexander @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Max Licher @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Annual or perennial
General Desc: A deep rooted plant with stems that are generally erect and multi-branched. It has escaped cultivation. Has normal pea family characteristic of improving soil by nitrogen fixation.
Identification notes: Corolla light to dark purple, rarely white.
Height: Up to 3-1/2 feet


Habitat Description: Lives in all life zones at all elevations in Yavapai County.
Plant Communities: Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 7500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Light to dark purple     Shape: Irregular in round clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Apr - Oct
Description: Each flower has 1 large upper petal and 3 smaller petals.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Compound     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Opposite     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Tri-foliate leaves are clover like and have sharp toothed margins near the tip.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Light green   
Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: Downey green, coiled seed pod turns dark brown with age.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Content Questions/Comments: Email Matt Halldorson  
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