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A southwest Asian perennial herb (Medicago sativa) in the pea family, having compound leaves with three leaflets and clusters of usually blue-violet flowers. It is widely cultivated as a pasture and hay crop.
[Spanish, from Arabic al-faṣfaṣa : al-, the + faṣfaṣa, alfalfa (variant of fiṣfiṣa, ultimately (probably via Coptic p-espesta : p-, masculine sing. definite article + espesta, alfalfa) from Aramaic espestā, from Middle Persian aspast, from Old Iranian aspasti- : *aspa-, horse; see ekwo- in Indo-European roots + *-sti-, food, fodder; see ed- in Indo-European roots).]
(Plants) a leguminous plant, Medicago sativa, of Europe and Asia, having compound leaves with three leaflets and clusters of small purplish flowers. It is widely cultivated for forage and as a nitrogen fixer and used as a commercial source of chlorophyll. Also called: lucerne
[C19: from Spanish, from Arabic al-fasfasah, from al the + fasfasah the best sort of fodder]
n., pl. -fas.
a plant, Medicago sativa, of the legume family, usu. having bluish purple flowers, originating in the Near East and widely cultivated as a forage crop. Also called lucerne.
[1835–45; < Sp, variant of alfalfez < Spanish Arabic al the + faṣfaṣah]
A plant with tiny seeds which are sprouted and used in salads or casseroles.
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|Noun||1.||alfalfa - important European leguminous forage plant with trifoliate leaves and blue-violet flowers grown widely as a pasture and hay crop|
alfalfa - leguminous plant grown for hay or forage
|2.||alfalfa - leguminous plant grown for hay or forage|
fodder - coarse food (especially for livestock) composed of entire plants or the leaves and stalks of a cereal crop