Chamaecytisus palmensis, Chamaecytisus proliferous, Cystisus proliferous
- Evergreen fodder shrub for deep sands
- High stocking rates and meat production
- Autumn feed for maintenance
- Winter spring feed for animal production
- Prevents wind erosion
- Requires mechanical cutting for sheep (and cattle depending on grazing management).
- Cannot be set-stocked by sheep.
- Permanent shrub that limits cropping when sown in plantations
Leaves: Multiple narrow leaflets (5 to 30 mm) long, emerging from a common petiole.
Flowers: Small white pea flowers
Pods: Narrow pods with about 10 seeds per pod.
Seeds: Hard seeded
Pasture type and use
Where it grows
> 250 mm
Deep (> 1 m), well drained sands
Young leaves are burnt by frost, but plants are adapted to a wide range of temperatures. Growth rates slow in winter due to cool temperatures
Annual pastures in inter-row
Sowing/planting rates as single species
Sown as plantations at 8 to 10 m spacing between rows. When planted as seedlings space plants 2 to 3 m apart within rows.
Sowing/planting rates in mixtures
'Alley farming' is where the inter row spacing is more than 15 m.
Sown in winter May to August.
25 kg/km of row of a Super:Potash mix (higher rates can kill seedlings)
200 kg/ha/year superphosphate (9% P) for optimum animal production
Seedlings are lightly grazed or cut in the first autumn to promote branching (remove no more than 1/3 of the leaf)With sheep tagasaste is grazed at high stocking rates (e.g. 100 DSE/ha) for a maximum of 6 weeks in autumn to replace supplementary feeding. If only grazed once a year the tagasaste will require mechanical cutting (0.5 to 1.0 m height) in autumn. Tagasaste can not be set stocked with sheep.Tagasaste can be set stocked or rotationally grazed with cattle at any time of the year. If the grazing pressure is adequate the tagasaste will not need mechanical cutting.
Small number of professional seed producers (hand picking or vacuum harvesting)
Ability to spread
Limited, but occasionally seedlings will strike in the absence of grazing.
Low, though can establish in bushland
Most insect pest in the seedling stage (first 9 months), occasional grass hopper damage in mature plants.Rabbits will kill seedlings.
Limited knowledge or requirement in paddocks
Very high feed quality in winter and spring, but maintenance only in autumn. Crude Protein levels are at least 14% in autumn but animals respond to protein supplements at this time. In autumn high phenolic levels can inhibit rumen function and cause protein shortages.
Good during winter and spring, but declines over summer and autumn. Leaves on stems that have flowered in spring will become unpalatable in the following summer (and the bark of those stems becomes palatable). Mechanical cutting / hard grazing in the first half of the year prevents flowering in the second half of the year.
'Tagasaste staggers' can occur in winter and spring but animals recover quickly (< 30 minutes) and there is no permanent damage. Rare nervous problems with new born calves - a condition which is not yet understood.Pregnancy toxaemia in lactating ewes and calves in autumn due to tagasaste only supplying maintenance quality feed prior to the break of season.
Common tagasaste, Weeping tagasaste (seedlings only)
Wiley et al (1994). 'Tagasaste' Dept Agriculture WA, Bulletin 5291
Lefroy, Oldham & Costa (1996). Tagasaste Chamaecytisus proliferous' workshop proceedings, CRC for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture, Occasional Publication No 19.
Oldham et al (1988-94). 'Advances in research on Tagasaste (1 to 4) Martindale Research Project, Animal Science Group, School of Agriculture, University of Western Australia.
Author and date