alfalfa

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alfalfa

(ălfăl`fə) or

lucern

(lo͞osûn`), perennial leguminous plant (Medicago sativa) of the family Leguminosae (pulsepulse,
in botany, common name for members of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae), a large plant family, called also the pea, or legume, family. Numbering about 650 genera and 17,000 species, the family is third largest, after the asters and the orchids.
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 family), the most important pasture and hay plant in North America, also grown extensively in Argentina, S Europe, and Asia. Probably native to Persia, it was introduced to the United States by Spanish colonists. Of high yield, high protein content, and such prolific growth that it acts as an effective weed control, alfalfa is also valued in crop rotation and for soil improvement because of the nitrogen-fixing bacteria in its nodules. The several varieties of the species grow well in most temperate regions except those with acid soil or poor drainage. The alfalfa belt of the United States centers chiefly in the northern and western parts of the country. Young alfalfa shoots have been used as food for humans and have antiscorbutic properties. Carotene and chlorophyll for commercial use are extracted from the leaves. Alfalfa is also called medic, the name for any plant of the genus Medicago—Old World herbs with blue or yellow flowers similar to those of the related clovers. Black medic (M. lupulina) and the bur clovers (M. arabica and M. hispida) are among the annual species naturalized as weeds in North America and sometimes also grown for hay and pasture. Alfalfa is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.
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alfalfa

alfalfa

Wow. Where do I start. Alfalfa is a purplish-flowered clover with roots that go very deep -over 100 feetreaches nutrients that other plants can't reach. It's called the land version of sea kelp because of high mineral content for strong bones, hormones and immune system. It alkalizes blood. It's a complete B complex, C, D, E, K, octacosanol, calcium, chromium, iron, manganese, magnesium, selenium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, trace minerals, zinc, coumarins, 8 digestive enzymes, all 18 essential amino acids (making it a major source of protein), fatty acids, and saponins. Alfalfa is the richest source of phytoestrogens. It stimulates and nourishes the pituitary gland, protects from radiation poisoning, neutralizes acids & poisons in the body, treats arthritis, cancer, ulcers, strengthens all tissues, bones, rebuilds teeth, stimulates digestion and bowel action, rheumatoid arthritis, balances blood sugar, diabetes, preventing absorption of cholesterol, energy, indigestion, dyspepsia, anemia, loss of appetite, poor assimilation and cleanses the colon. Whew. Dry it, grind into powder, make tea, juice or put into smoothies. Helps weight gain, stops bleeding. Anti-fungal. High source of chlorophyll. Rejuvenates the whole system. Don’t eat too much at once or take if you have lupus.

alfalfa

[al′fal·fə]
(botany)
Medicago sativa. A herbaceous perennial legume in the order Rosales, characterized by a deep taproot. Also known as lucerne.

alfalfa

a leguminous plant, Medicago sativa, of Europe and Asia, having compound leaves with three leaflets and clusters of small purplish flowers. It is widely cultivated for forage and as a nitrogen fixer and used as a commercial source of chlorophyll
References in periodicals archive ?
For Schuman, the find revived a stalled effort to pursue interseeding alfalfa into rangelands because of the legume's natural ability to replenish nitrogen-poor soil.
A bacterium called Rhizobium forms nodules on roots of the alfalfa, and they convert nitrogen gas in the soil into a form of nitrogen that the plant can use," says Schuman.
In the meantime, as word of the proliferating yellow-flowering alfalfa spreads, more ranchers are interested in using falcata as a means of increasing forage production.
To get the parent material, Lamb and colleagues crossed European varieties bred for lodging resistance with modern alfalfa varieties developed for dairy cattle feed.
With the new bioenergy funding, ARS dairy scientist Hans Jung will develop tests to screen alfalfa types for variations in amounts of different carbohydrates and their ease of conversion to ethanol.
Jung also studies limitations to the breakdown of cell wall carbohydrates to identify ways to improve alfalfa.
Using selection and breeding methods, Lamb is developing alfalfa lines that incorporate beneficial traits such as more sugars, larger stems, and improved fermentation.
Her role is finding and inserting genes into alfalfa that will make it a better traditional crop and a more profitable industrial crop for fuel, plastics, or other value-added products.
Team members are identifying alfalfa types that are highly resistant to the fungus so they can "tease out the mechanisms that inhibit the fungus," Samac says.
Falcata is an excellent candidate because it is one of the nine major germplasm introductions from which today's alfalfa varieties are derived.
So far, scientists have isolated relatively few alfalfa genes.
Azhar Hossain are at the USDA-ARS Soybean and Alfalfa Research Laboratory, Bldg.