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VARIEGATED ALFALFA.   I23

Cultural conditions: It is of agricultural value only where the climate is too severe or the soil too poor for ordinary Alfalfa, as it inherits some of the hardiness of Yellow Lucerne. Its European name, Sand Lucerne, indicates that it is suitable for poor, dry soil.

Climate: Its fame has been established by its ability to stand severe cold better than ordinary Alfalfa, which makes it of particular interest to Canada.

Agricultural value: The value of the primary hybrid for fodder is inferior to that of the ordinary Alfalfa; the yield is lower and the feeding quality is not so good. The decumbent growth which it often inherits from Yellow Lucerne affects both yield and quality. The danger of lodging is greater than with ordinary Alfalfa, especially where the growth is rank. Its spreading habit makes it more difficult to cut, the mower being often unable to get below the stems.

Varieties: On account of its hybrid origin, Variegated Alfalfa varies extremely. There are many commercial "varieties" of a somewhat different agricultural value. The most famous and at present undoubtedly the most important of these is Grimm's Alfalfa, which is hardy for the Alfalfa-growing districts of Canada and the northern United States. Of special interest for Canada is Canadian Variegated Alfalfa, which, according to experiments conducted by Prof. C. A. Zavitz at the Ontario Agricultural College, is equal to Grimm's Alfalfa and decidedly hardier than any ordinary variety.

Grimm's and Canadian Variegated Alfalfa, like all other varieties of Variegated Alfalfa, are by no means uniform but include plants of very different value. Some of them are like ordinary Alfalfa in growth and yield, others are like Yellow Lucerne. On account of this variation, there are great possibilities of obtaining by selection high-yielding varieties that will combine the desirable qualities of true Alfalfa with the hardiness of Yellow Lucerne.

Behold the Flowers are divers in Stature, in Quality, and Colour, and Smell, and Virtue; and some are better than some: Also where the Gardener hath set them, there they stand, and quarrel not one with another.—John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress, 1628-88.

 

 

A noble plant suits not with a stubborn ground.—George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum, or Outlandish Proverbs, 1593-1632.

 

 

Nor do I think that men will ever reach the end and far-extended limits of the vegetable kingdom; so incomprehensible is the variety it every day produces, of the most useful and admirable of all the aspectable works of God.-John Evelyn, A Discourse of Sallets, 1620-1706.


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