Basionym: Clitoria brasiliana L.; Bradburya brasiliana (L.) Kuntze
Family: Fabaceae (alt. Leguminosae) subfamily: Faboideae tribe: Phaseoleae subtribe: Clitoriinae.
Commonly described as a prostrate-trailing to twining, perennial, herbaceous species. However, some erect and semi-erect forms have been identified. Similarly, the ability to form adventitious roots on trailing stems varies among studies. Leaves trifoliolate, leaflets elliptical-oblong to lanceolate, sometimes ovate, apex acute or obtuse, 3.3‒6.6 cm long, 1.5‒3.6 cm wide. Flowers usually in racemes of 2‒5 flowers, sometimes solitary. Bracteoles glabrous or pubescent, 3‒13 mm long, 12‒17 mm long and 5‒10 mm wide, ovate and flat or cupped. Peduncles in leaf axils, 4‒30 mm long. Papilionate flower, usually violet, violet-blue or red-lilac, in rare cases also white or purple. Variation in colour intensity within one accession can occur, suggesting some degree of outcrossing. Time from sowing to flowering <3‒7 months. Pods linear, dehiscent, 70‒160 mm long and 4‒5 mm wide, beak to 20mm long, containing 8‒23 seeds. Seeds light to dark brown, sometimes grey, black or yellow, often with darker stripes or mottled. Seeds cylindrical, 3.4‒4.4 mm long, 2.3‒3.1 mm wide. 33,000‒90,000 seeds/kg.
English: Brazilian centro
Latin America: brinco de princesa, cabeca de galo, cipó das feridas, coelho no prato, cunha pan do rego, espia camino, feijão bravo, feijão do campo, feijão do mato, guarumbó, jequirana, jetirana, marmelada, oró, patinha
South America: Argentina (Misiones); Bolivia; Brazil (Alagoas, Amapá, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Federal District, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Paraiba, Paraná, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Roraima, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Sergipe); Colombia; French Guiana; Guyana; Paraguay, Peru (Loreto); Suriname; Venezuela
Central America: Nicaragua
has been evaluated extensively, mostly under cutting, in a wide range of environments in Australia, Africa and tropical America. Evaluations under cutting identified it as a promising species for the semi-arid to dry-subhumid environments of northern Australia, West Africa and tropical America, with tolerance of acid, high aluminium soils.
Persistence under grazing depends on pasture management, with periodic regeneration through seeds seen as the main mechanism for persistence. Such regeneration is favoured by the free seeding habit of the species. In long-term (11 years) grazing studies in northern Australia, only a few accessions of persisted under grazing, among them cv. Oolloo.
Native habitat: well drained, acid to very acid (pH 4.1‒6.3) soils, medium to low fertility and sandy to loamy texture, tolerance of high levels of aluminium. Accession CIAT 5234 has shown some adaptation to less well-drained soils in the flooded savannas of the Pantanal of Brazil.
A particular characteristic of is its high tolerance of drought, with the ability to retain green leaves over extended (5‒8 months) dry seasons. Osmotic and stomatal regulations are the main processes to control water loss. However, as the tolerance of leaf water deficits is lower than for other Centrosema spp. and leaf morphology does not indicate adaptation to drought, drought tolerance of is attributed to its deep root system (taproot).
is a true lowland species, with most accessions collected at altitudes of 50‒300 m asl and thus is a warm season plant. In northeast Argentina, the species is less affected by frost than Centrosema macrocarpum.
No shade tolerance known.
In the Venezuelan savannas, flowering initiated 67‒92 days after planting, with maximum flowering 104‒138 days after planting. A wide range of time to flowering was also observed in the savannas of northern Nigeria.
Good tolerance of grazing and cutting.
Some tolerance to fire.
Scarification of seeds before sowing is necessary. Positive results were obtained with mechanical scarification, hot water treatment, Osram irradiation and sulphuric acid. establishes relatively slowly; hence weed control during establishment is beneficial. Can be established in oxisols and ultisols in roughly prepared seedbeds, following disc harrowing or chisel ploughing and some vegetation control. A sowing depth of 5 cm is recommended, with seeding rates of 4‒5 kg/ha. Promiscuous in its Bradyrhizobium requirements but in experiments in Colombia, the species has responded to inoculation.
As for other Centrosema species, phosphorus is the most limiting nutrient for establishment. Recommendations range from 10 to 40 kg P/ha, depending on soil. In contrast to commercial centro ( ), requires only small quantities of magnesium and calcium for establishment.
The biggest limitation for , particularly in humid environments, is its susceptibility to rhizoctonia foliar blight (RFB), a fungal disease caused by a complex of Rhizoctonia solani, binucleate Rhizoctonia sp. (BNR), and R. zeae. In legume-only small plots, most evaluated accessions were susceptible but a certain degree of resistance has been identified in some accessions. In grazed pastures RFB affects young seedlings, reducing persistence and dry matter production, with yield reductions of up to 50%.
Depending on accession, through seed and adventitious roots on trailing stems.
Probably low; there are no reports.
Forage quality of is high and compares favourably with other tropical legumes. In studies with large collections in Colombia and Nigeria (130 and 257 accessions, respectively), with sampling age of 6 and 18 weeks respectively, CP content ranged between 11.8 and 19.6%. Reports on IVDMD are variable and range from 48‒56% to >70%. In contrast with many other tropical legumes, maintains its quality and retains its leaves under drought to a large extent.
is highly palatable. In Peru, very well accepted by cattle in the high rainfall period.
No information available; probably none.
3‒10 t DM/ha/year.
Positive effects of on liveweight gains in associations with Setaria sphacelata cv. Kazungula and other grasses, and on sward persistence are reported from Australia and Colombia. LWG of 150 kg/animal/year are reported. Biggest impact in dry season with LWG of 34‒67 g/day/animal; in wet season LWG of 660‒670 g/day/animal.
2n = 20 and 2n = 22. There has been no breeding work with as yet. Occasional segregation in flower colour suggests that the species should be considered as partially outcrossing. Hybridization attempts with C. tetragonolobum have been successful.
For cv. Oolloo, seed yields equivalent to 1,000 kg/ha have been harvested in trial plots in Australia. In evaluations in South America, seed yields of up to 1,200‒1,400 kg/ha are reported, with common yields 200‒500 kg/ha (hand-harvested). Seed yields benefit from support systems as trellises or grass stakes.
No information available.
Barbosa-Fevereiro, V.P. (1977) Centrosema (A.P. de Candolle) Bentham do Brasil - Leguminosae - Faboideae. Rodriguésia 29:159–219. jstor.org/stable/23492626
Cadisch, G., Sylvester-Bradley, R. and Nösberger, J. (1992) Variation in growth and N2 fixation within and among Centrosema spp. in response to phosphorus supply. Tropical Grasslands 26:226–234. bit.ly/2UF5GBR
Clements, R.J., Winter, W.H. and Reid, R. (1984) Evaluation of some Centrosema in small plots in Northern Australia. Tropical Grasslands 18:83–91. bit.ly/39shLQs
Coradin, L. and Ramos, A.K.B. (2016) Centrosema brasilianum (Centrosema). In: Vieira, R.F., Camillo, J. and Coradin, L. (eds) Espécies Nativas da Flora Brasileira de Valor Econômico Atual ou Potencial: Plantas para o Futuro ‒ Região Centro-Oeste. Secretaria de Biodiversidade, Ministério do Meio Ambiente, Brasília, DF, Brazil. p. 489‒498. https://bit.ly/2UMZUzo
Ludlow, M.M., Chu, A.C.P., Clements, R.J. and Kerslake, R.G. (1983) Adaptation of species of Centrosema to water stress. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 10:119–130. doi.org/10.1071/PP9830119
Peters, M., Kramer, H., Tarawali, S.A. and Schultze-Kraft, R. (1998) Characterization of a germplasm collection of the tropical pasture legume Centrosema brasilianum in subhumid West Africa. The Journal of Agricultural Science 130:139–147. doi.org/10.1017/S0021859697004991
Schultze-Kraft, R. and Belalcázar, J. (1988) Germplasm collection and preliminary evaluation of the pasture legume Centrosema brasilianum (L.) Benth. Tropical Agriculture (Trinidad) 65:137–144. bit.ly/3anbI0t
Schultze-Kraft, R. and Clements, R.J. (eds). (1990) Centrosema: Biology, agronomy, and utilization. CIAT Publication No. 92. Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Cali, Colombia. hdl.handle.net/10568/54383
ILRI 155 (= CIAT 5234) Nigeria, savannas.
CIAT 5234 Has shown some adaptation to less well-drained soils in the flooded savannas of the Pantanal of Brazil.
CIAT 5178, CIAT 5234 Colombia, savannas.
CIAT 5055, CIAT 5234, CIAT 5247 Venezuela, savannas.
CIAT 5468, CIAT 5553, CIAT 5689, CIAT 5823, CIAT 25112, CIAT 25132 Nigeria, savannas. ‘Group A material': rapid establishment, short term use.
CIAT 5512, CIAT 5667, CIAT 15192, CIAT 15270, CIAT 15401, CIAT 25113, CIAT 25210 Nigeria, savannas. 'Group B material': higher persistence, longer term use.