Flowering time responses of serradella cultivars

Suzanne Boschma1, Daniel Kidd2, Matthew Newell3, Adam Stefanski4, Rebecca Haling4, Richard Hayes5, Megan Ryan2, Richard Simpson4

1 NSW Department of Primary Industries, 4 Marsden Park Rd, Calala, NSW, 2340, www.dpi.nsw.gov.au, suzanne.boschma@dpi.nsw.gov.au

2 University of Western Australia, School of Agriculture & Environment, M090, Perth, WA, 6009

3 NSW Department of Primary Industries, PO Box 129, Cowra, NSW, 2794

4 CSIRO Agriculture & Food, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT, 2601

5 NSW Department of Primary Industries, PMB, Wagga Wagga, NSW, 2650


Serradellas (Ornithopus spp.) are alternative temperate annual pasture legumes, until recently grown mainly on deep sandy soils where their deep rooting habit and tolerance of low soil fertility/acidity confer an advantage over subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum).  Expansion of serradella use requires cultivars with appropriate maturity type and hardseededness to underpin persistence in a wider range of growing seasons and climates. In 2018, a national experiment was conducted to determine the maturity types of a range of serradella cultivars that are potentially available in Australia. Thirteen cultivars of serradella (six O. compressus, six O. sativus, one O. pinnatus) and five cultivars of subterranean clover were sown in Perth, Canberra, Cowra and Tamworth to examine flowering times and duration in these environments. The results indicated a wide range in maturity types among serradella cultivars, but with significant gaps in the maturity types available for hardseeded O. sativus cultivars.  A number of the serradellas had unstable flowering times indicating inadequate germination-date flexibility and will flower too early (during severe frost periods) after germinating on an early break to the growing season in eastern Australia.


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography david_marland@hotmail.com Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

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