Centrosema pascuorum

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cv. Cavalcade - a sprawling/twining annual.

Leaflet shape and flower of cv. Cavalcade.

Pods and seeds.

Foliage and flowers of cv. Cavalcade.

Suitable for ley-farming.

Massed twining stems of a seed production plot.

cv. Cavalcade used for hay production in tropical Australia.

From:‘t Mannetje, L. and Jones, R.M. (1992) Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 4. Forages. (Pudoc Scientific Publishers, Wageningen, the Netherlands). © Prosea Foundation.

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Scientific name

Centrosema pascuorum Mart. ex Benth.

Synonyms

Bradburya pascuora (Mart. ex Benth.) Kuntze

Family/tribe

Family: Fabaceae (alt. Leguminosae) subfamily: Faboideae tribe: Phaseoleae subtribe: Clitoriinae. Also placed in: Papilionaceae.

Common names

centurion, centro.

Morphological description

Centrosema pascuorum is an annual, twining herb that can root from the nodes of trailing stems under moist conditions.  Stems are cylindrical, glabrous or scarcely pilose, extending up to 2 m from the crown.  Leaves are trifoliolate, often held erect and paraheliotropic especially during dry periods.  Petioles are 25-50 mm long, glabrous to scarcely pilose .  Leaflets of the Australian cultivars are long (50-100 mm) and narrow (5-10 mm) and give a C. pascuorum sward, from some distance, a grass-like aspect;  however, in the available collection there exists also great variation in leaflet shape.  Inflorescences are racemose;  flowers are borne singly or in pairs at the end of a short peduncle.  The corolla is wine red to crimson, 15-25 mm long and wide.  Flowers are predominantly self-pollinated.  Pods are linear to slightly curved, 4-8 cm long and 3-4 mm wide, laterally compressed with a dark longitudinal stripe.  They contain up to 15 seeds and shatter violently at maturity up to 1 m wide thus allowing dispersal of seeds.  Seeds are ovoid to cylindrical, approx. 4 mm long, greenish-yellow to brown and rarely mottled.  Thousand seed weight of C. pascuorum ranges from 6.8-28.9 g, cv. Cavalcade has a weight of 21 g (48,000 seeds/kg) and cv. Bundey 17 g (58,000 seeds/kg).

Distribution

Native to:
C. pascuorum is a tropical lowland species, found naturally at altitudes between 20 m and 1,000 m.  Its geographical distribution spans from almost 17°N in Mexico to almost 20°S in Brazil.  Main areas of distribution are semi-arid north