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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots + *-sti-, food, fodder; see ed- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
(click for a larger image)alfalfa
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