Taxon: Medicago sativa L. subsp. falcata (L.) Arcang.

Genus: Medicago
    Section: Medicago
Family: Fabaceae (alt.Leguminosae)
  Subfamily: Faboideae
      Tribe: Trifolieae
Nomen number: 104918
Place of publication: Comp. fl. ital. 160. 1882
Name Verified on: 13-Sep-1988 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 02-Oct-2017
Species priority site is: Western Regional PI Station (W6)
Accessions: 458 in National Plant Germplasm System (GoogleMap)

Common names:

  • sickle alfalfa  (Source: F Iraq) - English
  • sickle medic  (Source: F Iraq) - English
  • sickle medick  (Source: BSBI) - English
  • yellow alfalfa  (Source: Websters Dict) - English
  • yellow lucerne  (Source: F Iraq) - English
  • yellow-flower alfalfa  (Source: Dict Rehm) - English
  • luzerne de Suède  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • luzerne jaune  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • Sichelklee  (Source: Dict Rehm) - German
  • Sichelluzerne  (Source: Dict Rehm) - German
  • luzerna-de-sequeiro  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Portuguese
  • alfafa-de-provença  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • alfafa-falciforme  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • alfalfa amarilla  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • alfalfa sueca  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • gul-lusern  (Source: Kulturvaxtdatabas) - Swedish
  • ye mu xu  (Source: F ChinaEng) - Transcribed Chinese

Economic Importance:

  • Animal food: forage (grazing fide Leg WorldEc)
  • Gene sources: cold tolerance for alfalfa (fide Leg WorldEc; Alfalfa)
  • Gene sources: disease resistance for alfalfa (fide Leg WorldEc; Alfalfa)
  • Gene sources: drought resistance for alfalfa (fide Leg WorldEc; Alfalfa)
  • Gene sources: primary genetic relative of alfalfa (fide Alfalfa Status Rep)
  • Gene sources: salt tolerance for alfalfa (fide Leg WorldEc; Alfalfa)
  • Gene sources: waterlogging tolerance for alfalfa (fide Leg WorldEc; Alfalfa)

Distributional Range:


  • Africa

    • Northern Africa: Algeria; Egypt; Libya; Morocco; Tunisia
  • Asia-Temperate

    • Caucasus: Armenia; Azerbaijan; Georgia
    • China: China
    • Eastern Asia: Korea
    • Middle Asia: Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan
    • Mongolia: Mongolia
    • Western Asia: Cyprus; Iran; Iraq; Lebanon; Syria; Turkey
  • Asia-Tropical

    • Indian Subcontinent: India - Assam, - Haryana, - Himachal Pradesh, - Jammu and Kashmir, - Punjab, - Sikkim, - Uttar Pradesh; Nepal; Pakistan
  • Europe

    • Eastern Europe: Belarus; Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Russian Federation-European part - European part; Ukraine
    • Middle Europe: Austria; Belgium; Czech Republic; Germany; Hungary; Netherlands; Poland; Slovakia; Switzerland
    • Northern Europe: Denmark; Ireland; Norway; Sweden; United Kingdom
    • Southeastern Europe: Albania; Bulgaria; Greece; Italy; Macedonia; Romania; Slovenia
    • Southwestern Europe: France; Portugal; Spain

  • Naturalized:

  • Africa

    • Southern Africa: South Africa
  • Asia-Temperate

    • Russian Far East: Russian Federation-Far East - Far East
    • Siberia: Russian Federation-Eastern Siberia - Eastern Siberia; Russian Federation-Western Siberia - Western Siberia
  • Australasia

    • Australia: Australia
  • Northern America

    • : Canada; United States
  • Southern America

    • Southern South America: Argentina


  • Webster's third new international dictionary. 1961 (Websters Dict)
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource on 2012 (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  • Alfalfa Crop Germplasm Committee Report on the Status of Medicago Germplasm in the United States. 2000 (Alfalfa Status Rep) 21.
  • Botanical Society of the British Isles BSBI taxon database (on-line resource). (BSBI)
  • Davis, P. H., ed. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands. 1965-1988 (F Turk)
  • Duke, J. A. Handbook of legumes of world economic importance. 1981 (Leg WorldEc)
  • Encke, F. et al. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage. 1984 (Zander ed13)
  • Greuter, W. et al., eds. Med-Checklist. 1984- (L Medit)
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  • Gunn, C. R. et al. 1978. Classification of Medicago sativa L. using legume characters and flower colors Techn. Bull. U.S.D.A. 1574:15.
  • Havananda, T. et al. 2010. Relationships among diploid members of the Medicago sativa (Fabaceae) species complex based on chloroplast and mitochondrial DNA sequences Syst. Bot. 35:140-150.
  • Hnatiuk, R. J. Census of Australian vascular plants. Australian Flora and Fauna Series No. 11. 1990 (L Aust)
  • Instituto de Botánica Darwinion Flora del Conosur. Catálogo de las plantas vasculares. 2008 (F ConoSur)
  • Isely, D. 1983. Classification of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and relatives Iowa State J. Res. 57:215.
  • Isely, D. Native and naturalized Leguminosae (Fabaceae) of the United States (exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii). 1998 (Leg US)
  • Ivanov, A. I. Alfalfa [Lyutserna]. In Lenin Acad. Agric. Sciences, D. D. Brezhnev, ed. 1980 (Alfalfa)
  • Kumar, S & P. V. Sane Legumes of South Asia: a checklist. 2003 (Leg SAsia)
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2. 1998 (Food Feed Crops US)
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Small, E. Alfalfa and relatives: evolution and classification of Medicago. 2011 (Evol Class Medicago)
  • Townsend, C. C. & E. Guest Flora of Iraq. 1966- (F Iraq)
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. Flora europaea. 1964-1980 (F Eur)
  • Yakovlev, G. P. et al. Legumes of Northern Eurasia. 1996 (Leg NEurasia)


Check other web resources for Medicago sativa L. subsp. falcata (L.) Arcang. :

  • Flora Europaea: Database of European Plants (ESFEDS)
  • PLANTS: USDA-NRCS Database of Plants of the United States and its Territories
  • Flora del Conosur: Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Conosur
  • SIBIS: South African National Biodiversity Institute's (SANBI) Integrated Biodiversity System
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • ILDIS: International Legume Database & Information Service
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.


  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image