Vegetatively reproductive red clovers (Trifolium pratense L.): An overview


  • M.G. Hyslop
  • P.D. Kemp
  • J. Hodgson



Although the persistency of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) can be a problem when grazed in mixed and pure stands, it is still regarded as a valuable source of high quality summer feed in some farming systems. Vegetatively reproductive red clover selections offer promise to solve this persistency problem but their growth, perennation, reproductive ability and productivity have not been investigated in New Zealand farming systems. This paper is an overview of a 4 year research programme involving nine experiments investigating these areas. The vegetatively reproductive red clovers evaluated were Astred, F2419 and Gualdo. There was no difference between Astred and Grasslands Pawera, a crown type red clover, in the total herbage accumulated over the first growing season under 4, 6 and 8 week grazing frequencies and lax and hard grazing intensities. After 3 years of grazing, significantly more Astred parent plants were alive compared to Pawera when rooted plantlets were counted as parent plants after one year. Varying numbers (0-66 plantlets/m2/yr) of rooted plantlets were produced by Astred in mixed and pure swards. More rooted plantlets were established per parent plant under wet surface soil conditions. Astred produced 57% of its autumn rooted plantlets on primary stems developed in September, or branches off these stems. Comparisons of the growth and morphology of Astred, F2419 and Gualdo are presented. Red clover selections that are vegetatively reproductive offer benefits to New Zealand farming systems and could solve some of the persistency problems currently experienced with red clover. Keywords: Astred, F2419, Gualdo, rooted plantlet, Trifolium pratense, vegetatively reproductive







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