- extremely palatable
- suitable on a wide range of soil textures with easy establishment on clay soils
- addresses soil fertility decline in cropping soils
- regenerates well from seed each year
- greater tolerance of cool temperatures means it can establish and commence growth earlier in spring than other subtropical, tropical legumes
- high palatability restricts use to ley pastures and short term phase pastures and requires appropriate grazing management
- has a specific rhizobium requirement
- susceptible to insect and virus damage
Stems: hairy, mostly fairly fine (1 - 2 mm diameter).
Leaves: comprise 3 leaflets; hairy on upper and lower surfaces.
Flowers: purple-red and are borne on stems about 15cm long with a ring of small leaf-like structures at the base.
Pods: 4 - 9 cm long, straight and cylindrical; with 9 to 17 seeds per pod.
Seeds: seeds mottled, brown, black and tan; 170,000 seeds/kg.
Pasture type and use
Used mainly as a short-term legume within cropping systems where the focus is on producing high quality forage and/or addressing fertility decline. It is well suited to the heavy soils of the cropping regions of southern Queensland and northern New South Wales.
Where it grows
Wide range of soil types acceptable but best adapted to moderately heavy to heavy textured cropping soils.
Will germinate and grow in temperatures lower than many other subtropical and tropical legumes. Tops killed by frost.
Sowing/planting rates as single species
3 - 5 kg/ha, 5 - 8 kg/ha for coated seed.
Sowing/planting rates in mixtures
1-3 kg/ha, 2-5kg/ha for coated seed.
Can be sown in spring or summer depending on moisture availability.
Requires a specific inoculum, strain CB1717.
Application of 10 - 20 kg/ha P (e.g. 100 - 200 kg/ha superphosphate) at sowing improves performance on old cropping soils. Molybdenum and sulphur may also be necessary in some situations.
Mostly used on cropping soils and additional fertilizer not usually applied in short term pasture phases.
Best rotationally grazed; under continuous grazing, stock concentrate on the palatable burgundy bean ultimately killing plants.
Seed maturity is not uniform and the seed pods shatter easily. Seed production of up to 1 t/ha is attainable.
Ability to spread
Can spread within the paddock due to seed pod burst at maturity. High palatability however results in little spread outside of the sown area.
Potential is low for weediness due to high palatability at all stages of maturity and rapid breakdown of hard seed.
No major pests, although seedlings can be affected by bean fly, and seed production by flower-eating caterpillars and green vegetable bugs.
No major disease problems. Bean mosaic virus symptoms can appear but has little effect on productivity.
Spinnaker® (Imazethapyr) can be used as pre-sowing/pre-emergent, post-sowing/pre-emergent or post-emergent herbicide (first or second full leaf). Glyphosate can be used post-sowing/pre-emergent to control weeds at planting, and has also been used at low application rates on mature plants to control emerging weeds.
Extremely palatable and selectively grazed.
None recorded. Burgundy bean does not cause bloat.
Two cultivars, usually sold in a mixture.
|Cadarga||Guide to Australian Pasture LegumesHeritage Seeds|
|Juanita||Guide to Australian Pasture Legumes|
Author and date
Stuart Brown & Bruce Pengelly (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems)