Stylosanthes guianensis var. intermedia
- Persistent and strong coloniser on low fertility soils.
- Tolerant of heavy grazing, frost and fire because of low/buried growing points and regrows rapidly.
- Provides high quality feed when other legumes are frosted or dormant.
- Field resistance to anthracnose.
- Good palatability.
Stems: Fine, many branched and covered with bristles.
Leaves: Trifoliate with narrow pale to dark green leaflets usually with no hair on the upper surface but with a few hairs on the underside.
Flowers: Small and bright yellow in groups of 4 to 20.
Pods: Light brown, flattened, 1 seed per pod with a small coiled beak.
Seeds: Kidney shaped yellowish-brown, 770000 seeds (dehulled) per kg or 380000 seeds in pod/kg.
Pasture type and use
Where it grows
600 to 800mm AAR.
Sands and sandy loams.
Optimum for growth is about 30oC. Crowns of established plants have survived at -10oC.
Legumes: Round-leaf cassia
Sowing/planting rates as single species
Not usually planted as a single species in pastures. Planting rate for seed crops is 4 to 5 kg/ha of scarified seed.
Sowing/planting rates in mixtures
1 to 2 kg/ha
Spring and summer
Rhizobium strain CB 82
Grows on low P soils but responds to added phosphorus.
Not normally used.
Regular grazing of associated grasses favours fine stem stylo and is necessary to stop grass dominance. It can be grazed heavily over summer but a short rest period in February/March helps seed production and longevity in the pasture. Continuous heavy grazing can reduce cover and allow weeds to invade and can lead to erosion.
Seed production is high but ripening occurs over a long period and it shatters easily. Yields from mechanical harvesting range from 100 to 400 kg/ha. Suction harvesting can give higher seed yields.
Ability to spread
Produces high seed yields and is spread through surface movement ingestion and movement of livestock.
Very limited. In pastures it is well grazed and in disturbed areas other (larger) plants are likely to be dominant.
No serious pests.
Susceptible to some broad-leaf herbicides but tolerant of 2,4-D, 2,4-DB, Basagran and Blazer.
Forage yields in pasture are generally low but can be up to 2 tonne/ha where legume density is high. Steer liveweight gain can be increased by 50 to 80 kg/head/year with high gains extending further into the cooler months than for other tropical grass-legume pastures.
Author and date