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Medick, Alfalfa (Medicago)

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Medick, Alfalfa Genus Details

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Medick or alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a multi-branched, spreading, herbaceous plant that resembles clover, with alternate trifoliate leaves that are wider at the top than the base. Violet-blue flowers bloom during much of the summer. It is native to Europe, but is widely grown in the U.S. for hay and fodder. Black medic (M. lupulina), native to Europe and Asia, is similar to alfalfa in appearance, but has yellow flowers.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa).
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa).
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa).
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa).

Medick, Alfalfa Allergy Info

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This genus is frequently considered a cause of pollinosis, but this appears unlikely under field conditions since the pollen is not shed unless insects pollinate the flowers. Pollen sensitivity has occurred where people live adjacent to alfalfa fields or handle dried alfalfa hay where flowers shatter and release pollen to the atmosphere.

Medick, Alfalfa Pollen Description

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Pollen grains of Medicago are prolate to subprolate; the amb triangular, rounded-triangular, or with convex sides and 3-colporoidate or 3-colporate. The sexine is punctitegillate.
The grains of Medicago are 25 x 40 micrometers in diameter.
Medicago tupulina, single grain. Herb. MIN
Medicago tupulina, single grain. Herb. MIN
Medicago tupulina, multiple grains. Herb. MIN
Medicago tupulina, multiple grains. Herb. MIN

Species in This Genus

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Allergenicity Legend:
Mild Allergen Mild Allergen  |  Moderate Allergen Moderate Allergen  |  Severe Allergen Severe Allergen  |  Allergy Test Allergy Test Available
Medick, Alfalfa (Medicago) is a genus of the FABACEAE family.
This genus includes the following allergenic species:

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Medick, Alfalfa Genus Location

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The shaded areas on the map indicates where the genus has been observed in the United States. Click the map to see a full scale version of these allergy areas.
  - Native, observed in a county
  - Introduced, observed in a county
  - Rarely observed

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