8. Medicago ×varia Martyn, Fl. Rust. 3: t. 87. 1793.
杂交苜蓿 za jiao mu xu
Medicago sativa Linnaeus subsp. varia (Martyn) Arcangeli.
Perennial herbs, 60-80(-120) cm. Stems erect, prostrate, or ascending, quadrangular, much branched. Stipules lanceolate, base obscurely dentate, apex acuminate; leaflets oblong-obovate to elliptic, 10-20(-25) × (3-)5-10 mm, papery, sparsely appressed puberulent abaxially, glabrous adaxially, lateral veins 8 pairs, base rounded or broadly cuneate, margin shallowly serrate in upper 1/2. Flowers 8-15 in capitate racemes, crowded, becoming more widely spaced after anthesis; peduncles straight, longer than leaves; bracts shorter than pedicels. Corolla yellow, yellow-brown, to brownish purple, 9-10(-11) mm; standard oblong-ovate, usually with darker stripes, retuse. Ovules 6-8. Legume loosely coiled in (0.5-)1-1.5(-2) spirals, (4-)7-9(-12) mm in diam., center hollow, veins inconspicuous. Seeds 3-6, brown, ovoid. Fl. Jun-Aug, fr. Aug-Oct.
Cultivated throughout China, escaping to fields and roadsides [widely cultivated elsewhere].
This is a hybrid between Medicago sativa and M. falcata.