Medicago sativa ssp. falcata* (Falcata alfalfa)

A grazing type, yellow-flowered alfalfa meant exclusively for mixed grass plantings on semiarid rangelands and irrigated pastures in the Western U.S. Non-aggressive, though extremely persistent in harsh, competitive grazing applications on semiarid rangelands and irrigated pastures. Significantly more persistent in grazing applications than purple-flowered alfalfas. Drought-tolerant and winter-hardy due to fibrous roots and deeply set crown and buds. Enters complete dormancy when water is limited for extended periods, regrowing when moisture returns. Will not dominate in mixed plantings with grasses; low growth form stays well below the canopy of most grasses.

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Family: Fabaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Forb

Native Status: Introduced

Growth Form: Single Crown

Mature Height: 24 in.

Bloom Color: Yellow

Bloom Period: Spring

Annual Precipitation: 7-65 in.

Drought Tolerance: High

Shade Tolerance: Intolerant

Fire Resistance: No

Fire Tolerance: High

Nitrogen fixation: High

Bloat: Medium


Coarse Texture: No

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: Yes

Salinity Tolerance: Medium

CaCO3 Tolerance: High

pH Range: 6.0-8.5


Seeds per Pound: 454,000 (~2.25x purple-flowered alfalfa)

Seeding Rate: 1-2 lbs/acre

Season: Spring/Fall

Days to Germination:


Don - The first Falcata cultivar release. Enters dormancy when water is limited for extended periods, regrowing from the crown when moisture returns. Significantly more persistent than purple flowered alfalfas on harsh rangelands and in competitive grazing situations; non-aggressive. (Released 2009, source of ecotype: Don Province, Russia)