Alfalfa (/ælˈfælfə/), also called Lucerne and called Medicago sativa in binomial nomenclature, is a perennial flowering plant in the legume family Fabaceae. It is cultivated as an important forage crop in many countries around the world. It is used for grazing, hay, and silage, as well as and cover crops. The name alfalfa is used in North America. The name Lucerne is the more commonly used name in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.