Scientific Name: Medicago sativa
Life Cycle: Perennial
Growth Habit: Upright
Preferred Soil pH: 6.0 - 8.0
Min. Germination Temp.: 34 F
Upright perennial that grows 15-38 inches tall and has a deep taproot. Typically has three leaflets per leaf; leaflet margins are serrated on the tips. Flowers are usually purple but may be blue, yellow/cream, or variegated.
Black-eyed Pea, Southern Pea, Crowder Pea
This legume has a long taproot and its growth is similar to soybean. Cowpea also has been used successfully as groundcover in orchards and intercropped with cash crops such as cotton. A bushel of grain is about 60 pounds.
Upright annual or biennial that grows 1.5 – 7 feet tall. Has serrated leaflet edges with three leaflets per leaf. Has white or yellow flowers and as extensive taproot. The white-flowered sweetclover (M. alba) is talker, coarser-stemmed, and has coarser leaves than the yellow-flowered type (M. officinalis). Yellow sweetclover is more drought tolerant, more vigorous as a seedling, flowers earlier, and has spreading growth.