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Pueraria phaseoloides, Tropical Kudzu ‘s seeds …Những hạt đậu Ma …
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Vietnamese named : đậu Ma
Common names : Puero (Australia), tropical kudzu (most of the tropics)
Scientist name : Pueraria phaseoloides( Roxb.) Benth.
Synonyms : P. javanica Benth.; P. phaseoloides var. javanica (Benth. ) Hook.
Family : Fabaceae / Leguminosae. Họ Đậu / họ phụ đậu Papillionoideae
Searched from :
Tên khoa học
Pueraria phaseoloides (Roxb.) Benth.
Mô tả cây
Cây họ đậu leo kiểu quấn với thân mảnh dài tới 10 m. Rễ non được bao bọc dầy đặc bởi lông mầu nâu. Lá tam giác ovan, dài 2-20 cm, rộng 2-15 cm với các thùy nhỏ. Hoa nhỏ, mầu hoa cà đến tím đậm, nằm trong chùm hoa mọc từ nốt nách. Chùm hoa dài 15-30 cm trên những cuống dài khoảng 12 cm. Quả thẳng, hoặc hơi cong, dài 4-11 cm x 3-5 mm, phủ một lớp mỏng lông cứng ép sát vỏ. Hạt 3 mm x 2 mm, hình chữ nhật với góc tròn, mầu nâu hoặc đen nâu. 10-20 hạt/quả. Hạt nặng 80.000-88.000/kg.
Sử dụng/Ứng dụng.
Dùng chủ yếu như thành phần của đồng cỏ hỗn hợp hòa thảo-họ đậu hay cây che phủ ở vùng nhiệt đới ẩm. Cũng được dùng làm cỏ khô, cỏ ủ hoặc thu cắt và đang xem xét như là cây đồn điền.
Yêu cầu về đất
Thích nghi rộng với nhiều loại đất, nhưng không thể hiện tốt ở đất sét nặng. Giống thương phẩm thích nghi tốt ở đất thoát nước, chua (pH 3,5-5,5) với độ bão hòa nhôm cao, nhưng yêu cầu độ phì cao. Mọc tốt nhất ở khoảng pH 4,0-6,5, và cần P và Mg. Không chịu mặn.
Ưa chế độ mưa >1.500 mm, nhưng cũng mọc ở nhiệt đới cận ẩm với lượng mưa hàng năm 1.000-1.500 mm, đặc biệt ở nơi xẩy ra ngập nước tạm thời. Chịu ngập tạm thời và lụt ngắn. Sẽ sống sót qua mùa khô dài 4-5 tháng, nhưng lá bị mất đáng kể.
Thích nghi với nhiệt đới ẩm và bán ẩm và mọc ở độ cao đến 1.600 m trên mực nước biển. Chịu băng giá kém.
Chịu râm vừa phải và được dùng phủ đất ở những vườn cây lâu năm như dừa.
Có thể không ra hoa trong năm mới thiết lập. Thời gian từ ra hoa đầu đến thu hoạch ổn định khoảng 75 ngày. Phản ứng với thời gian chiếu sáng ngày ngắn giảm do ẩm cao.
Chăn thả/thu cắt
Ổn định dưới điều kiện chăn thả vừa phải với sự chăn thả luân phiên trên đất thoát nước tốt, do tính ngon miệng tương đối thấp trong mùa sinh trưởng và đặc điểm phát triển thân bò và sinh rễ ở đốt. Phục hồi nhanh sau khi chăn thả nhẹ, nhưng có thể nhậy cảm với chăn thả nặng, đặc biệt trên đồng cỏ thoát nước kém.
Hướng dẫn thiết lập và quản lý đồng cỏ trồng
Thiết lập đồng cỏ
Hạt cần xử lý bằng cơ học, hóa học hay nước nóng để phá vỡ vỏ cứng. Dùng làm cây che phủ sẽ gieo 4 kg/ha, ở độ sâu 1-2 cm vào luống được chuẩn bị kỹ. Ở đồng cỏ hỗn hợp mật độ gieo giảm xuống còn 0,5-1,0 kg/ha. Sinh trưởng sớm (6 tháng đầu) chậm hơn so với giống Calopogonium mucunoides. Có thể trồng bằng thân bò. Có tính tạp cộng với vi khuẩn nốt sần, nhưng hiệu quả hơn khi tẩm với CIAT 2434, 3850 hoặc 3918.
Các giống cỏ đi kèm
Cỏ hòa thảo: Andropogon gayanus , Melinis minutiflora , Panicum maximum và Pennisetum purpureum. Giống thương phẩm kết hợp tốt với Brachiaria decumbens cv. Basilisk ở Llanos, Colombia.
Giá trị làm thức ăn
Giá trị dinh dưỡng
Mức protein thô cao (12-24%), nhiều khoáng, đặc biệt Ca, tỉ lệ tiêu hóa chất khô cao, 60-70%. Ở Nigeria, 6 tháng sau tái sinh có tỉ lệ tiêu hóa chất khô 52%, hàm lượng protein thô 14%, P 0,29% và Ca 0,80%. Giá trị dinh dưỡng giảm trong mùa khô.
Độ ngon miệng/độ chấp nhận của gia súc
Với bò, cần thời gian làm quen. Độ ngon thấp hoặc trung bình khi bò gặm vào mùa mưa, nhưng tăng lên cùng với sự giảm chất lượng của cỏ đi kèm vào cuối mùa.
Tiềm năng sản xuất
Vật chất khô
Năng suất chất khô hàng năm của cây cỏ đứng là cao với loại họ đậu leo quấn, khoảng 5-10 t/ha, với năng suất cao nhất thấy ở vùng nhiệt đới ẩm. Ở tây nam Nigeria, hỗn hợp của P. phaseoloides với Panicum maximum hoặc Pennisetum purpureum, không phân bón, cho 13,6 t/ha/năm chất khô và tạo cho đất khoảng 40 kg/ha N.
Ở Porto Velho, Brazil hỗn hợp giữa Brachiaria brizantha và P. phaseoloides cho năng suất trung bình hàng năm 35,3 t/ha DM, so với 32,0 t/ha cho mình giống B. brizantha. Trong hỗn hợp này, puero cố định 194 kg/ha/năm N và chuyển 75 kg/ha N cho cỏ hòa thảo. Khả năng cố định và chuyển hóa cao hơn đáng kể so với các loại đậu đỗ và đậu leo quấn thông thường.
Năng suất vật nuôi
Ở Colombia đồng cỏ P. phaseoloides và Brachiaria decumbens thả 2 bò/ha cho tăng trọng 160 kg/con/năm, so với 120 kg/con/năm ở đồng cỏ độc hòa thảo. Tăng trọng ngày bình quân 400-700 g/con.
Ở vùng nhiệt đới ẩm Vanuatu (tây nam Thái Bình Dương), đưa P. phaseoloides vào đồng cỏ para (Brachiaria mutica) tăng năng suất lên 22%, tăng tăng trọng hàng năm từ 511 lên 621 kg/ha, tăng trọng ngày của bò thịt từ 0.55 lên 0.65 kg/con/ngày trong thời gian thí nghiệm 3 năm.
Sản xuất hạt giống
Do khó thu hạt giống nên sản lượng biến thiên. Ở thung lũng Cauca, Colombia, ở vĩ độ bắc 3°B, sản lượng hạt sạch 38-70 kg/ha. Ở vùng savanna Brazilia (16°N), sản lượng hạt sạch thu bằng tay đạt 110-136 kg/ha. Ở những nơi khác, trên đất tốt với hàm lượng hữu cơ cao, hạt sạch có thể thu được 400-500 kg/ha. Cây cần được chống đỡ, như giàn leo, do năng suất hạt cao và dễ thu hoạch.
Các loại côn trùng như Maruca testulalis, Lampides boeticus và Heliothis tấn công quả đang lớn ở bắc Úc. Sử dụng lặp lại với liều 0,45 kg/ha để phòng trừ.
Chịu đất chua.
Giá trị dinh dưỡng cao.
Chịu râm nên thích hợp cho trồng cây lâu năm.
Bền (so với đậu leo quấn) nhờ tính ngon miệng vừa phải.
Yêu cầu độ phì trung bình đến cao.
Thiết lập chậm.
Không chịu hạn.
Sản lượng hạt biến thiên
Ðậu ma – Pueraria phaseoloides (Roxb.) Benth, thuộc họ Ðậu – Fabaceae.
Mô tả: Cây thảo leo, nhánh nhỏ, có lông màu vàng mọc ngược và phù ở gốc. Lá kèm nhọn, dài 1cm; có lông. Lá kép 3 lá chét; lá chét xoan, hình bánh bò, có khía thành 3 thuỳ rõ và có lông ở cả hai mặt, dài đến 6-12cm. Chùm hoa ở nách lá, dài đến 30cm, có lông cứng, đứng; hoa tim tím. Quả hình trụ, dài 8-9cm, chứa 13-15 hạt.
Bộ phận dùng: Toàn cây – Herba Puerariae.
Nơi sống và thu hái: Loài phân bố khá rộng ở Ấn Độ, Trung Quốc, Việt Nam, Malaixia. Ở nước ta, cây mọc rải rác khắp nơi. Người ta thường gặp chúng trong các rừng, rừng thưa hay chỗ trống, ở bờ suối, ven đường đi, trên đất cát sét từ 0-2000m. Ở đồng bằng sông Cửu Long, cây cũng mọc khắp cùng, trên đất hoang, hàng rào, rừng còi.
Công dụng, chỉ định và phối hợp: Ở Malaixia cây được dùng trị loét và mụn nhọt của trẻ em; có thể dùng dây sắc uống trong và dùng cây tươi đắp ngoài. Dân gian dùng Ðậu ma chữa sốt rét kinh niên và sốt phát ban, cùng với các loài khác như cây Chân Chó, cây Lưỡi Dòng
Pueraria phaseoloides (Roxb.) Benth.
P. javanica Benth.; P. phaseoloides var. javanica (Benth. ) Hook.
Puero (Australia), tropical kudzu (most of the tropics).
Vigorous twining and climbing, slightly woody, hairy perennial legume, deep-rooting and rather slender. Its main stems are about 0.6 cm in diameter and may extend for 5 to 6 metres. They may root at the nodes and from the nodes a number of lateral or secondary branches are formed. These intertwine and may result in a tangled mass of vegetation 60 to 75 cm deep within eight to nine months of sowing. The young shoots are densely covered with brown hairs. The leaves are large and trifoliate, borne on petioles 5 to 10 cm long covered with ascending hairs.
Leaflets are thin, triangular-ovate and very shallowly lobed. Small mauve to deep purple flowers are borne in scattered pairs in axillary racemes about 15 to 30 cm long on peduncles about 12.5 cm long. The pod is straight, or slightly curved, linear, cylindrical, 7.5 to 8.5 cm long, thinly clothed with stiff adpressed hairs, black when mature and containing 10 to 20 (usually about 16) seeds, oblong to squarish with rounded corners, brown to brownish black, about 3 mm (Barnard, 1969). Distribution
It is native to south-east Asia Malaysia and Indonesia and is now widespread throughout the wet tropics.
Essentially a plant of low altitudes, it generally grows below 600 m, but in Tanzania it reaches 1 000 m and in Colombia 2 000 m (Crowder, 1960). Altitudes above 1 200 m are too high in Kenya.
Grows best in a rainfall exceeding 2 500 mm or in swampy land in areas of lower rainfall. In Tanzania, it grows in a minimum rainfall of 850 mm as a cover crop in sisal but grows better at 1 160 mm at Mlingano, Tanzania (Hopkinson, 1969). At 2 000 mm it is difficult to control in cocoa.
Has a wide range in soil adaptability, from sands to clays, although it does not grow well in tight heavy clays. Does well on sands and clays in Suriname, on latosols in Tanzania and north Queensland, Australia. Loustalot and Telford (1948) found a pH of 4 to 5 to be best. Fe deficiency showed at a pH of 6 to 8. N production was greatest at a pH of 4. Landrau et al. (1953) quote good growth at pH 4.5 on a lateritic soil, and at pH 4.6 to 5.1 in a clay. Best growth at pH 5.5 was recorded by Smith and Chandler (1951) but other co-workers increased growth by liming from pH 5.3 to 6.5 and, in the greenhouse, from pH 5.2 to 7.5. Molybdenum release may have been responsible. It is not tolerant of salinity.
A promiscuous species; nodulates with the cowpea type of Rhizobium, strain CB756 in Australia. However, Bowen (personal communication) obtained nearly double the yield from inoculated plants (as compared with the uninoculated control).
Ability to spread naturally
Spreads mainly by runners and in this way colonizes widely on suitable soils with adequate rainfall.
Land preparation for establishment
As early growth is slow, seed should be sown into a weed-free seed bed. It responds to good seed-bed preparation, which controls weeds by cultivation after the initial ploughing. Can also be established readily in the ashes of a forest burn.
Seed is usually broadcast or drilled in. In Sri Lanka it is hand planted (15 to 20 seeds every 3 m mixed with the top 2.5 cm of soil). Drill in rows 1 m apart. Can also be propagated by cuttings 0.7 to 1 m long planted at two per point on a 1- to 2-m grid (Schofield, 1941). Establishment can be achieved by oversowing into existing pasture if the pasture is disced or burnt beforehand. Usually, however, it will not establish in grass, but grass will establish in the legume (Santhirasegaram, personal communication). It is best sown in midsummer to coincide with the wet season. Sow at 1 to 2 kg./ha in mixture. Rijkebusch (1967) recommends 3 to 6 kg./ha scarified or 8 to 10 kg./ ha unscarified seed for sowing down the centre of sisal rows which are 3.5 m wide. Sow at 1.5 cm and roll or harrow.
Number of seeds per kg.
81 400 to 88 000.
Percentage of hard seed
Eighty percent (Colombia) to 95 percent (Venezuela).
Seed treatment before planting
To break dormancy: (a) treat with concentrated sulphuric acid (sp. gr. 1.8) for 20 minutes, wash and dry (Rijkebusch, 1967; Prodonoff, 1968); (b) put in hot water at 50 to 70°C for several hours and allow to cool (Wycherley, 1960); (c) immerse in glycerine at 50°C for one hourthis increased germination from 10 to 50 percent (Wycherley, 1960); or (d) use infra-red lamp irradiationPhilips Infraphil Type 13373F/479 (150 watts) for one hour or Osram I.R.R. 4892 (250 watts) for two hours (Wycherley, 1960). Inoculation is advisable but not necessary. Pelleting is usually not necessary. Insect and disease control are usually not required.¸€
Dirven and Ehrencron (1969) have intensively tested the nutrient requirements of Pueraria phaseoloides and have published coloured photophaphs of the deficiency symptoms. They found that the lowest yields were with rain-water alone and minus phosphorus. Minus Ca and Mg reduced yields by 72 and 84 percent respectively and the plants did not recover when fertilized with a complete mixture four months later. Minus K, Na or N reduced yields by 50 percent. Nodulation was lacking without calcium, fair with complete fertilizer and minus K, P, Mg or Na; good with rainwater, and very good with minus N. After complete fertilization, nodulation was very good in the minus Na, good in the minus N, Mg and in the rain-water treatments, and fair in all the others. In the absence of Ca, P or Mg, root systems developed slowly.
Landrau et al. (1953) found that boron applied as 33 kg./ha of borax had no effect on yields or nodulation in an acid lateritic clay of pH 4.4.
Watson (1960) found that the Ca content of the leaf, stem and nodules was increased by liming to pH 6.0, with a smaller increase with liming to pH 7.0. The side-effect of liming, however, was to release molybdenum, especially at pH 7.0, the Ca and Mo contents rising appreciably. Liming also decreased the Mn content markedly. Pueraria phaseoloides is the most successful leguminous cover crop in sisal (Agave sisalana), which is a luxury consumer of calcium and is usually heavily limed. Loustalot and Telford (1948) found that lack of Ca caused rotting of the root system. The chlorophyll of the leaves faded along the margins and between the main veins, and the green was replaced by a buff pigment around the midrib. The area immediately adjacent to the main vein was unusually dark green. The leaves dropped before they became necrotic. The plants gave 57 percent of their maximum yield in the absence of Ca. Calcium deficiency appeared early and very few nodules were produced, some of which were decayed. Dirven and Ehrencron (1969) found that the omission of calcium resulted in less well-developed plants. Only a few new leaves and vines were formed. The root system was found to be small and there were no nodules. About three months after germination, dark yellow patches slowly spread to the leaf margin and base. The veins and the leaf top remained green for a considerable time, but eventually the entire leaf yellowed. Necrosis developed in the interveinal spaces, even after the first yellowing. As soon as the leaves had entirely yellowed, the tissue of the leaf tip or leaf margin began to die off. A brown coloration of the veins was observed on the top and underside of some of the leaves. Young leaves also exhibited distinct deficiency symptoms.
Dirven and Ehrencron (1969) found that magnesium deficiency produced very weak plants with fairly small leaves and a poorly developed root system.
Necrosis occurred dispersedly over laminae and also at the tips and margins of the leaves. When the plants were supplied with a complete nutrient solution there was a slow and incomplete recovery.
Loustalot and Telford (1968) found that absence of N produced no symptoms but yields were only 55 percent of their maximum. Nodules were very large and moderately numerous. Landrau et al. (1953) found that puero responded to nitrogen at 275 kg./ha for the first cutting at four months from planting when nodule numbers were small; thereafter, no response was obtained. A similar response to early and also late nitrogen applications was recorded by Hopkinson (1969). Parbery (1967a) obtained a response to 100 kg. N/ha in the Kimberley area of northern Australia. Evidently the puero nodules do not become active fixers of nitrogen until about four months after germination.
Loustalot and Telford (1948) obtained increased yields with puero from applications of phosphorus. In the absence of P, no symptoms were visible for two months after planting and then the basal leaves turned yellow and abscissed. The root system was abnormally large, with a low top-to-root ratio, and there were very few nodules, which were also small. In the absence of P, puero plants produced 87 percent of the yield of dry matter with complete fertilizer in pot tests. P had a highly beneficial effect (at 100 kg./ha P205) on poorly drained soils and there was a positive P x K interaction. The plants growing without P on these soils were chlorotic and small. Grof (1966) obtained linear responses to phosphorus with puero up to at least 110 kg./ha of P2O5, the response by puero in dry-matter yields being significantly higher than by centro and stylo. Dirven and Ehrencron (1969) found that P deficiency resulted in stunted growth. Only a few new leaves and vines were formed and the leaves were small and stiff, olive-green in colour, and in some cases the leaf margin was wavy in the middle. After application of complete nutrient solution, puero made a rapid recovery.
Loustalot and Telford ( 1948) found that K deficiency produced partial chlorosis and/or necrosis between the veins. The basal leaves were affected first, later the apex. Yellow areas at the margins of the leaves and between the veins extended irregularly inward. Entire leaf margins became chlorotic and then necrotic. In the absence of K, the yields were 87 percent of the maximum yield from complete fertilizer, and nodules were abnormally large and moderately numerous. Landrau et al. (1953) found that puero competed unsuccessfully with Merker grass (Pennisetum purpureum) for small K supplies in the soil. Chlorotic symptoms appeared on the margins of the legume leaves. Normal leaves were found to contain 2.20 percent of K in the dry matter, while chlorotic leaves contained 1.28 percent, and the N and P percentages were also low. Other workers have found that potash is deficient when the dry matter of the tops is less than 1.60 percent.
Dirven and Ehrencron (1969) found no sodium deficiency symptoms in puero supplied with a minus Na nutrient solution, but the top leaves were noticeably large. They stated that the significance of sodium deficiency was obscure, since few puero leaves contain less than 0.2 percent Na in the dry matter.
Compatibility with grasses and other legumes
Grows well with cori grass, molasses grass, guinea and elephant (napier) grass, but cannot persist with Brachiaria decumbens or pangola grass. As a cover crop it is often sown with centro and calopo. Calopo dominates the cover in the first year, then puero becomes dominant and finally Centrosema persists (Wilson and Lansbury, 1958).
Tolerance to herbicides
From greenhouse work, 2,4-DB, ametryne, linuron and 2,2-DPA were promising preplant herbicides that could be safely used before sowing Pueraria phaseoloides (University of the West Indies, 1963). Riepma (1965) found that puero was adversely affected by both pre- and post-emergent application of neburon. The pre-emergence treatment was 2.2 to 4.5 kg. active ingredient per hectare applied one day after sowing; the post-emergence application was made six to eight weeks after sowing. The growth of puero was impaired on sandy soil but not on clay soil at the 4.5 kg./ha rate. Increasing the seeding rate helped overcome the adverse effect. Hopkinson and Breitenstein (1969) found that 2 kg. acid equivalent/ha of MCPA killed the runners of puero.
Schofield (1945) found puero to be a better contributor of nitrogen to the soil than calopo, centro and stylo. After 18 months’ growth, it was ploughed into the soil. The nitrogen content of a similar soil under bare fallow was 34.4 ppm, and in the soil into which puero was ploughed it was 171.8 ppm compared with 71.7 for centro, 66.7 for calopo and 54.5 for stylo. Hopkinson (1969) found that puero used as a green cover in sisal increased the fibre yield by 26 percent and equalled the yield with puero plus nitrogen. Rijkebusch (1967) found that puero had the same effect with sisal as the application of 635 kg. N/ha in Tanzania. Oke (1967b) showed that puero fixed 9.3 mg N/plant/day, compared with 3.8 mg for Calopogonium, and transferred 92 percent of the fixed nitrogen to the plant tops, compared with 87 percent for calopo. Bruce (1967) found that an elephant (napier) grass/ puero pasture added 143 kg. N/ha/year to the top 15 cm of soil and raised the protein content of the grass by 7.1 percent. In puero stands, puero is self-mulching and adds considerable nitrogen by mineralization of leaf fall (Horrell, 1958).
Response to defoliation
It is moderately tolerant of defoliation, and recovers well after lenient grazing. Vicente-Chandler, Caro-Costas and Figarella (1953) found that cutting at 25 cm instead of 10 cm favoured puero in a molasses grass/puero mixture and gave better rooting and drought resistance.
Should be leniently grazed at all times to maintain the botanical composition of the pasture, as it is very palatable when selectively grazed. If it dominates the pasture mixture, grazing pressure can be increased.
Response to fire
Self-fertile; chromosome number 2n = 22.
Dry-matter and green-matter yields
Grof (personal communication) obtained 9 607 kg. DM/ha in north Queensland from three cuttings made up of 3 684 kg./ha at the end of the wet season in June, 2 483 kg./ha at the second cut in the cool dry season in September, and 3 440 kg./ha from a third cutting in the wet season in January. Payne et al. (1955) obtained an average of 4 180 kg. DM/ha/ year over three years at Sigatoka, Fiji, 62 percent being obtained in the wet season, 38 percent in the dry. In Suriname (lat. 4 to 6°N),30 to 35 tonnes of green fodder per hectare per year have been harvested. Vicente-Chandler, Caro-Costas and Figarella (1953) obtained dry-matter yields up to 22 896 kg./ha with a molasses grass/puero pasture with a protein content of 10.39 percent. The contribution of puero was 9 141 kg. DM/ha, with a protein content of 16.35 percent.
Suitability for hay and silage
It has been made into hay successfully in Colombia. It can stand two to four cuttings per year to give a hay yield of 4 tonnes/ha/ year (Crowder, 1960). Cabrera and Rivera-Brenes (1953) prepared silage from a mixture of tropical kudzu and Pennisetum purpurascens (Merker grass) in Puerto Rico, and fed it to dairy cows with no beneficial effect compared with feeding green Merker grass, but the protein contents of two grass/ legume silage samples were only 6.35 and 4.71 percent, while the green Merker grass had a protein content of 6.08 percent. No proportions of legume to grass were cited. It also makes good silage mixed with sorghum (one-third legume, two-thirds sorghum) and with elephant grass.
Value as a standover or deferred feed
In frost- and fire-free areas, it is excellent as standover feed for the dry season.
It is a valuable fodder plant and has given excellent results in the wet tropics.
Chemical analysis and digestibility:
Reyes (1955) found that puero contained 8.4 percent fibre and 3.65 percent protein in green material with 22.59 percent dry matter. In the Kimberley district, Parbery (1967a) reported 11.6 percent protein, and Bermudez et al. (1968) reported 19.9 percent protein in Colombia.
Puero is very palatable. At South Johnstone, north Queensland, the palatability rating is puero > Vigna hosei > stylo > centro > Desmodium heterophyllum > calopo (Barrau, 1953).
Seed harvesting methods
Seed is often harvested by hand in the tropics. It can be machine-harvested directly in the field, but low yields result because of the uneven maturity of the pods.
Yields are often affected by the legume pod borer. With full insect control, 330 kg./ha can be obtained by hand harvesting, 55 kg./ha by machine.
At present there is only the one commercial line available in Australia. Cultivar IAC in Brazil has been reported by Souto (1969) to be more heat-tolerant than other types.
Its compatibility with guinea and elephant (napier) grasses and its longer season of growth and higher yield than centro; high palatability; one of the best of the tropical legumes in nitrogen production; smothers weeds effectively.
Slow establishment; sensitivity to overgrazing; fire and drought intolerance; difficulties in seed production.
Puero has been an excellent cover crop to prevent soil erosion and to contribute nitrogen in plantation crops in the tropics for many years. Pereira et al. (1954) found that it gave very good protection of the soil for three years, but that its effect on structure was only transient. Hopkinson (1969) and Rijkebusch (1967) found its nitrogen-fixing ability of great value in sisal. Teitzel (1969b) reported that puero-based mixed pastures were some of the most productive under grazing in the wet tropics of north Queensland.
Vicente-Chandler, Caro-Costas and Figarella (1953) obtained 550 kg./ha live-weight gain with a molasses grass/puero mixture.
Dirven and Ehrencron (1969); Loustalot and Telford (1948); Schofield (1944).
It extends to about 23°S, but for best performance should be grown in equatorial regions down to 17.5°S.D
Ability to compete with weeds
It is one of the best tropical legumes for smothering weeds; hence, its wide use as a cover crop in sisal (Hopkinson, 1969) in Tanzania, and in smothering nut grass (Cyperus rotundus) in Venezuela.
Toxicity levels and symptoms
Manganesenone described, though Watson (1960) found that the addition of lime markedly reduced the manganese content of the plant.
Diseases and pests
It is remarkably free from disease. Leaf-eating caterpillars cause damage in ungrazed plots; pod borers interfere with seed production.
Temperature for growth
Optimum about 15°C. Minimum about 12.5°C. Ludlow and Wilson (1970) obtained only 8.3 percent of the dry matter, 24 percent of the relative growth rate and 4 percent of the leaf area at 20°C as was produced at 30°C, indicating that puero is essentially a species for the humid tropics. It developed chlorotic leaves at the lower temperature. It is easily killed by frost.€
Tolerance of drought and flooding
Not drought tolerant. In prolonged dry periods it sheds its leaves but survives at Mlingano, Tanzania (Hopkinson, 1969). Kannegieter (1966) found it to be drought resistant in the forest zone of Ghana. It is one of the best tropical legumes for tolerance to waterlogging and nodulates freely in very wet soils; it can stand short periods of flooding.
Vigour of seedling, growth and growth rhythm
In the seedling stage, has only moderate vigour and should have little competition. Grows slowly for three to four months in Colombia and then grows well, probably coinciding with active nodulation. Once established it is very vigorous, quickly smothers weeds and will climb trees and fences.
Response to photoperiod and light
A short-day plant; it flowers about 180 days from seeding in north Queensland, and in 126 days in the Kimberley district of north Australia (Parbery, 1967a). It tolerates partial shading, such as the edges of rain forests and in plantation crops such as coconuts. In Sri Lanka, it is the best legume under coconuts, growing with Brachiaria miliiformis (cori grass), but the trees should be at least 25 years old to provide enough light at ground level, with 150 to 180 trees/ha.
Minimum germination percentage and quality required for sale
Fifty percent germination, with a maximum of 10 percent hard seed and a purity of 93.5 percent in Queensland. Seed is germinated at 25°C under cover (Prodonoff, 1968).