Commercial Varieties of Alfalfa
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The common group includes the ordinary purple-flowered, smooth alfalfa, of which there are numerous regional strains generally grown throughout the western part of the United States.
The Turkestan group includes alfalfas that have been developed In Turkestan. They differ from the common alfalfas of this country in that they are somewhat shorter and more spreading in habit of growth and are slightly more hairy. No commercial distinction is made between the various strains from Turkestan, all of them being sold under the name "Turkestan."
The variegated group includes the alfalfas that have originated from a cross between common alfalfa and the yellow-flowered species. The Grimm, Baltic, Canadian variegated, and sand lucern are the best known examples of this group.
The nonhardy group includes rather distinct varieties that are very susceptible to low temperatures. They are, in general, very erect in habit of growth, recover quickly after cutting, and have a long growing period. The Peruvian and Arabian varieties are members of this group.
The yellow-flowered group includes the various forms of the yellow-flowered species. They are easily distinguished from members of the other groups by their yellow flowers and crescent or sickle shaped pods.