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Taxon: Medicago sativa L. nothosubsp. varia (Martyn) Arcang.

Genus: Medicago
Section: Medicago
Family: Fabaceae (alt.Leguminosae)
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Trifolieae
Nomen number: 104919
Place of publication: Comp. fl. ital. 160. 1882
Link to protologue:
Comment: [used for both diploid and tetraploid hybrids arising from M. sativa subsp. sativa × M. sativa subsp. falcata]
Name Verified on: 04-Jun-1987 by ARS Systematic Botanists.
Accessions: 512 (437 active, 415 available) in National Plant Germplasm System (Map)

Autonyms (not in current use), synonyms and invalid designations:

(≡ homotypic synonym, = heterotypic synonym, - autonym, I invalid designation)

Common names:

  • bastard medic  (Source: Dict Rehm) - English
  • sand lucerne  (Source: Dict Rehm) - English
  • variegated alfalfa  (Source: Food Feed Crops US) - English
  • variegated lucerne  (Source: Dict Rehm) - English
  • luzerne bigarrée  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • luzerne intermédiaire  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • Bastardluzerne  (Source: Dict Rehm) - German
  • Sandluzerne  (Source: Dict Rehm) - German
  • luzerna-bastarda  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • alfalfa de las arenas  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • alfalfa híbrida  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • za jiao mu xu  (Source: F ChinaEng) - Transcribed Chinese

Economic Importance:

  • Animal food: forage (as "variegated alfalfa")

Distributional Range:


    • WESTERN ASIA: Cyprus, Iran (n.w.), Syria, Turkey
    • CAUCASUS: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russian Federation, [Dagestan] Russian Federation-Ciscaucasia [Ciscaucasia]

    • NORTHERN EUROPE: United Kingdom
    • MIDDLE EUROPE: Austria, Belgium, Switzerland


    • SOUTHERN AFRICA: South Africa

    • MIDDLE ASIA: Kazakhstan

    • INDIAN SUBCONTINENT: India, [Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir] Nepal, Pakistan

    • NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand

    • EASTERN EUROPE: Belarus, Estonia, Russian Federation-European part, [European part] Ukraine (incl. Krym)

    Other (exact native range obscure)


  1. Euro+Med Editorial Committee. Euro+Med Plantbase: the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity (on-line resource).
  2. Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. Note: re. Brazilian common names
  3. Gunn, C. R. et al. 1978. Classification of Medicago sativa L. using legume characters and flower colors. Techn. Bull. U.S.D.A. 1574:12. Note: = Medicago sativa subsp. ×varia
  4. Isely, D. 1983. Classification of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and relatives. Iowa State J. Res. 57:217. Note: = Medicago sativa L.
  5. Ivanov, A. I. 1980. Alfalfa [Lyutserna]. In Lenin Acad. Agric. Sciences, D. D. Brezhnev, ed. Note: = Medicago varia Martyn
  6. Markle, G. M. et al., eds. 1998. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2
  7. Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  8. Rechinger, K. H., ed. 1963-. Flora iranica.
  9. Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants Note: = Medicago ×varia
  10. Small, E. 1985. Morphological differentiation in Medicago sativa s.l. in relation to ploidy. Canad. J. Bot. 63:1750. Note: = Medicago sativa subsp. ×varia
  11. Small, E. 2012. Review of Fabaceae Trifolieae data for World Economic Plants, ed. 2. pers. comm.
  12. Yakovlev, G. P. et al. 1996. Legumes of Northern Eurasia

Check other web resources for Medicago sativa L. nothosubsp. varia (Martyn) Arcang. :

  • SIBIS: South African National Biodiversity Institute's (SANBI) Integrated Biodiversity System
  • 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.
  • PubAg: USDA's National Agricultural Library database of full-text journal articles and citations on the agricultural sciences.


  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image

Cite as: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System. 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=104919. Accessed 4 July 2020.