Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A southwest Asian perennial herb (Medicago sativa) having compound leaves with three leaflets and clusters of usually blue-violet flowers. It is widely cultivated as a pasture and hay crop.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A plant, Medicago sativa, grown as a pasture crop.
  • n. A type or breed of this plant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The lucern (Medicago sativa), a leguminous plant having bluish purple cloverlike flowers, and cultivated for fodder; -- so called in California, Texas, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The Spanish name of lucerne, Medicago sativa, and the common name under which the chief varieties of lucerne are known in the western United States.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. important European leguminous forage plant with trifoliate leaves and blue-violet flowers grown widely as a pasture and hay crop
  • n. leguminous plant grown for hay or forage

Etymologies

Spanish, from Arabic al-faṣfaṣa : al-, the + faṣfaṣa, alfalfa (variant of fiṣfiṣa, from Persian aspist, clover).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish alfalfez, from Arabic الفصفصة (al-fíṣfiṣa, al-fáṣfaṣa, "fresh fodder"), from Persian اسپست (espest, aspest), from Middle Persian 𐭠𐭮𐭯𐭮𐭲 (aspast). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It will probably be news to most readers that alfalfa -- the wonderful forage crop of the West, the producer of more gold than all the mines of the Klondike -- was in use so long ago, for the impression is pretty general that it is comparatively new; the fact is that it is older than the Christian era and that the name alfalfa comes from the Arabic and means "the best crop."

    George Washington: Farmer

  • It will probably be news to most readers that alfalfa ” the wonderful forage crop of the West, the producer of more gold than all the mines of the Klondike ” was in use so long ago, for the impression is pretty general that it is comparatively new; the fact is that it is older than the Christian era and that the name alfalfa comes from the Arabic and means “the best crop.”

    George Washington Farmer

  • There are several food plot seeds that are perennial, alfalfa is perennial.

    To Feed or Not to Feed

  • Riparian corridors along river bottoms may hold lots of whitetails, which raid nearby farmland planted in alfalfa, sunflower, soybeans and corn.

    100 Best Public-Land Hunts: North Dakota

  • In related out these video clips of Ruth Rogan Benerito, "pioneer in alfalfa breeding and genetics", and Janice M. Miller, who discovered the virus causing bovine leukemia, from their induction into the Agricultural Research Service Hall of Fame.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • SMN - its called alfalfa only as far as I know...you'll find it in the greens / sprouts section of your supermarket - the wikipedia link will show you pictures of the sprouts.

    Carrot - Alfalfa Sprouts salad sandwich

  • Beds that you find in alfalfa and clover fields, abandoned orchards, oak flats, and other prime open feeding areas were made after dark.

    Gerald Almy's Guide to Scouting for Whitetail Deer

  • The company said the recalled alfalfa sprouts were sold in plastic cups and plastic bags under the Caldwell Fresh Foods brand, plastic cups under the Nature's Choice brand and plastic containers under the California Fresh Exotics brand.

    Alfalfa Sprouts Recall In 18 States: Salmonella Sickens 23

  • A California company is recalling alfalfa sprouts after 22 people in 10 states became sickened with Salmonella Newport.

    Sprouts recalled after 22 sickened by salmonella

  • Cake is a pressed or compacted feed of grains or in this case, alfalfa, which is high in protein and energy.

    Archive 2009-12-01

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