sainfoin

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Related to Onobrychis vicifolia: sainfoin

sainfoin

(sān`foin) [Fr.,=holy hay], leguminous perennial herb (Onobrychis viciaefolia) 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) indigenous in S Europe and in temperate W Asia. Sainfoin has for centuries been widely cultivated in Europe as a forage crop. Although it was introduced into the United States about 160 years ago, it has never become agriculturally important there. It thrives on calcareous soils too dry or too barren for clover or alfalfa. The plant is sometimes associated with the Christmas story of the Infant Jesus in the manger. Sainfoin is also called esparcet and holy clover. It 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.

sainfoin

a Eurasian perennial leguminous plant, Onobrychis viciifolia, widely grown as a forage crop, having pale pink flowers and curved pods