Does alfalfa have yellow flowers? Yes, it’s a thing! These are attractive plants that don’t only look interesting but have been known to feed livestock for centuries now. It has numerous benefits and uses, which is why farmers sell it after harvest.
Let’s delve deeper into what yellow-flowered alfalfa is!
Does Alfalfa Have Yellow Flowers?
Yes, alfalfa can grow yellow flowers. These are known as yellow alfalfa or the Medicago falcata, a hybrid with other kinds of alfalfa (Medicago sativa). It then produces alfalfa plants intermediate in terms of growth habit, flower color, and seed pods.
Yellow alfalfa, also known as the ‘sholty,’ is different from other common alfalfa varieties not only by color but also in seed pods. Common alfalfa grows purple flowers with spiral-shaped seed pods, while yellow alfalfa has sickle-shaped ones.
Yellow-flowered alfalfa is perennial legumes that can grow up to 30 inches tall and have multiple erect stems. They also grow alternate sets of oval-shaped and hairy leaflets with yellow flowers measuring between 0.25-0.5 inches in diameter.
These are pretty robust plants that have survived in northwest South Dakota for almost 100 years! Yellow-flowered alfalfa has survived against frost, drought, grasshoppers, competition, and livestock. This is because they can reseed themselves in rangeland and protect themselves by turning dormant when it gets dry. If late rains come during the drought, it regrows and blossoms, setting seeds quickly.
Yellow-flowered alfalfa also grows naturally in Siberia, being climatically similar to Northern Great Plains. It gives the alfalfa variety a fibrous root system and deep-set crown. That’s why the plants are more winter hardy, drought-tolerant, and can tolerate grazing more than other alfalfa varieties.
Many alfalfa varieties have long taproots which grow deep into soils. With yellow-flowered alfalfa, they have fibrous root systems that are different than other alfalfa varieties. They are more similar to grassroots, which is why yellow-flowered alfalfa compete with grasses and forbs to get moisture.
Yellow-flowered alfalfa continues to spread because of inter-seeding from experts and other professionals. Yellow-flowered alfalfa reseeds themselves, and wildlife would also help with the spreading, as they feed on the plant them spread the seed from droppings.
If you want to learn more about alfalfa, check out this exciting video:
Wrapping It Up
Alfalfa is such an interesting plant that can also grow yellow flowers that look attractive and just as valuable as other common varieties. It’s possible to grow them in your fields with the proper care, and because of its robust features, you won’t have to worry about its requirements as much!
Hopefully, you learned a lot about yellow-colored alfalfa and how it came to be. If you’re interested in growing alfalfa, be sure to learn more about what it takes and when you should plant them for a successful harvest. Good luck!