Scientific name: Medicago sativa
Common names: Lucerne, Alfalfa, Lusern
Seeding rate: 2 – 2.5 g/m² (20 – 25 kg/ha)
Growth cycle: Perennial
Growth season: Cool season
Lucerne is a temperate perennial legume that is highly palatable and grows throughout the year when sufficient moisture is available. It is a herbaceous plant with an erect growth form, 30 – 90 cm in height, and has a well-developed crown. Leaves are trifoliate, smooth upper and hairy lower surface. Flowers are purple to blue. Pods are curved to coiled with yellow to brown coloured seeds. It has a very deep taproot. Lucerne originates from the Near East and Central Asia, being one of the first forage crops to be domesticated (in ancient Iran). Lucerne is used as pasture, for hay and silage. It combines well with temperate and tropical grasses.