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Mississippi Forages

Spotted or Southern Burclover (Medicago arabica)

Plant Characteristics: Annual with smooth, heart-shaped leaves with a dark spot in the center of the leaf. Stems contain large stipules and has small yellow flowers that develop into small, spiny burs.

Establishment: Seed is not readily available and spotted burclover should be broadcast between September and October at a rate of 10 to 15 lbs/ac. Burclover may occur in pure stands, but most often it is associated with other winter annuals such as rye grass or planted with other clovers (white, crimson, arrowleaf) to minimize the level of invasiveness. Although burclover will succeed in many soil types, heavy loams are most suitable and valleys and low foothills are generally the preferred sites of natural plant development.

Fertilization: Well adapted to calcareous soils and do well in soils with soil pH above 6.

Grazing/Hay Management: Spotter burclover has very low yields ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 tons/ac. Most yield production is very short, only in March and April. Be careful with the management, it could become very invasive.

Forage Quality: Mature stands are highly nutritious and comparable to other clover species.

Varieties/Cultivars: n/a.