- High nutritive value and productive late in the season in cool temperate areas just too dry to sustain white clover.
- Tolerant of poor drainage. Free of oestrogen risks.
- Low production in winter
Plant: grows to 30-60 cm. Stems: Indeterminate. Branching hollow. The well developed crown produces many prostrate stems up to 1 m.Leaves: plain, hairless; large leaflets with serrated margins.
Flowers: dense clusters on long stalk; globe shaped to 2.5 cm diameter; pale pink/white, fade to brownPods: numerous seed pods containing 1-3 seedsSeeds: black/olive green/yellow; ~1.5 million/kg
Pasture type and use
A semi-erect biennial or short-lived perennial that can maintain presence through ability to recruit seedlings
Where it grows
> 500 mm
Suited to a wide range of acidity/alkalinity. Tolerates low fertility and poorly drained soils. Well suited to peaty soil
Excellent cold tolerance. Naturally suited to montane environments. Low shade tolerance.
Sowing/planting rates as single species
3-5 kg/ha; sow at 5-15 mm into a clean, finely worked seed bed and roll
Sowing/planting rates in mixtures
When soil temp. >10o C. Autumn, or early spring in long growing seasons
Correct any nutrient deficiencies, especially K, P, Mo, S
For optimum growth Olsen soil P > 15
Very suitable for hay-making and extensive/hill country grazing.
Ability to spread
Recruits seedlings well; cattle effectively spread seed via dung
Moderate on disturbed land only. Only reproduces via seed. No innate adaptations for long range dispersal
Similar to white clover
Limited information available. 2,4D_B, Basagran, MCPA, MCPB + MCPA in crop seedling stage and POAST ultra on established stand are listed in Canada, refer 2008 Forage Crops Chart - Recommended Herbicides
High; nutritive value greater than red clover.
Good autumn and spring/early summer vigour
No oestrogen/toxin problems noted in Australia. Trifoliosis ('dew poisoning/bighead/photosensitization/ big liver disease') is attributed to alsike clover poisoning in North America. Light-skinned animals (especially horses) are particularly affected if they are allowed to graze on alsike when it is wet; contains an unknown agent which causes primary and/or secondary (hepatogenous) photosensitization.
* Grasslanz Forage Product guide (2004)
Author and date
KFM Reed, July 9th 2008