Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Dicotyledon Literature for Medicago sativa
Wagner et al., 1990, 1999.
   Fabaceae -- The Pea Family Bibliography
      Medicago sativa

Common name(s): `alapapa, alfalfa, lucerne
General Information
DistributionNative to Europe, cultivated as a fodder plant and widely naturalized.In the Hawaiian Islands, naturalized on Midway, Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Hawai`i.

Erect perennial herbs, with a deep taproot and a short-branched superficial caudex; stems 3-10 dm long, sometimes with decumbent branches, pubescent to glabrous.
Leaflets narrowly obovate to linear-elliptic, (8-)15-35 mm long, (3-)5-15 mm wide, pubescent, stipules narrowly ovate to linear, apex of stipules dentate.
Flowers 5-40 in racemes; corolla violet purple, (5-)6-11 mm long.
Pods curved or spirally twisted in 1-1.5(-3) complete turns, 4-7 mm in diameter, transverse veins forming a distinct but not very prominent transverse or radially elongated network, prickles absent.
Seeds several.
2n = 16, 32, 48, 64