Alyce clover (United States).
Low spreading summer annual, but in thick stands the stems
are more nearly erect and attain a length of up to 1 m. Stems moderately
branched and moderately leafy. Leaves, simple and broadly ovate in shape,
up to 2.5 cm long. Flowers, reddish yellow or pale purple, borne in racemes
of six to 12 flowers each. The seeds, dark red, oval or oblong, 1 to 1.5
Native to India, southern Asia, Pacific Islands (Fiji, Tahiti),
East Africa; naturalized in South America and the United States.
Self-seeding. Prefers sandy loams, but is very susceptible
to nematodes and so is often grown on clay soils. Does not tolerate wet
lands; good drainage is a prerequisite. Responded well to nitrogen on Cunnunurra
clay in northern Australia, but nitrogen depressed its growth in Cockatoo
sand (Parbery, 1967b). Responds to phosphorus but not to potash. Grows
commonly on coral sand in Tanzania and Tahiti and in clay loams on basaltic
slopes in Fiji (Payne, 1955).
Non-specific; does not require inoculation.
Sown in spring to midsummer at the rate of 11 to 16 kg./ha of scarified
or machine-hulled seed on a fine seed bed at a depth no greater than 1
cm and lightly covered or rolled. Used primarily as a hay crop in Mississippi
and Florida, United States, and is a useful component of natural grazing
with Desmodium heterophyllum and Atylosia scarabaeoides on basaltic slopes
at Sigatoka, Fiji.
Provides green grazing in the hot dry months of August and September
in the southern United States. When harvested for hay is cut in early bloom
with an ordinary mower and raked as soon as drying permits. Dries readily
and can be baled the following day. Hay yields average from 3 750 to 6
500 kg./ha according to fertility. Parbery recorded 4 050 kg. DM/ha on
unfertilized Cunnunurra clay and 5 925 kg. with 40 kg. N. In Holly Springs,
Mississippi, United States, unfertilized A. vaginalis yielded 4 340 kg.
hay per hectare and a yield of 6 120 kg. was obtained from a dressing of
20 kg. P2O5 plus 10.25 kg. K2O per hectare. Highest yields are obtained
from the first crop in any field; subsequent crops decline owing to nematode
Seed crop can be harvested by combine or mown and threshed. Seed yields
range from 100 to 300 kg./ha.