Strawberry Clover

Strawberry Clover

Trifolium fragiferum

A persistent prostrate perennial legume which regenerates readily by shedding seeds and spreading stolons. Its stems are slender and branched the roots can grow to 250 mm. Trifoliate leaf size varies between cultivars, flower heads are small, and pink, resembling strawberry fruits. Seed pods contain 1-2 seeds.

 

Uses are as ground cover in vineyards, orchards and for green cover crop and soil conditioning.

 

Pros

  • very palatable and nutritious - making an excellent component in a permanent pasture in spring and summer
  • high protein content 
  • high digestibility
  • tolerates heavy grazing 
  • tolerates wide temperature range with good heat tolerance
  • excellent summer feed value when moisture available
  • drought and water-logging tolerant
  •  tolerant of salinity - can establish and persist on wet saline and alkaline soils were other clovers struggle to persist
  • grows best, pH 6-8. can tolerates pH (CaCl2) 4.8
  • prefer rainfall greater 500 mm
  • Olsen soil P > 15
  • very persistent on suitable soils 
  • importantly free of oestrogen risks

 

Cons

  • slow to establish - poor seedling vigour makes establishment hard in already established pastures.
  •  poor winter growth
  • a high proportion of hard seed
  • requires soil moisture through summer
  • seed easily spread by water, birds and livestock
  • intolerant of deficiencies in K, Mo, Cu, S
  • Susceptible to Glyphosate and other broad-leaf herbicides

 

 

Suggested Mixtures

Grasses: phalaris, tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, tall wheatgrass, 

Legumes: Persian, balansa, white clovers

 

Sowing/planting rates as single species

1-2 kg/ha; sow scarified seed at 15-20 mm into a clean, finely worked seedbed and roll

 

Sowing/planting rates in mixtures

0.25-0.5 kg/ha

Sow Early autumn or spring; low seedling vigour