NOTE: The information in this Agnote must be read in conjunction with Introduction to selecting and using pastures in NSW, which covers information on areas of adaptation, sources of variability, species mixtures, and important issues related to animal health and the conservation of native vegetation.
Pasture type and use Creeping, twining, climbing, viny perennial tropical legume for grazing and agroforestry.
Area of adaptation Moist subtropical North Coast, out of reach of heavy frost.
Min. average annual rainfall 1000 mm
  • Good drought tolerance.
  • Early spring growth.
  • Good forage productivity.
  • Provides excellent standover feed in early winter.
  • One of the best tropical legumes for competing against weeds, and is well suited to agroforestry on the right soil types.
  • It has no ability to root at the nodes and is susceptible to constant grazing.
  • Seed is difficult to produce.
Soil requirements Does best on well-drained soils and does not like very acid low-fertility soils. It has performed well on low-fertility soils where adequate phosphorus, sulfur and molybdenum were applied.
Varieties Archer
Sowing rates— in mixtures Usually only sown in mixtures: 0.5–2 kg/ha
Sowing time October to January is best, but try to avoid hot dry conditions.
Companion species Usually sown on warm hill sites with viny tropical legumes, such as greenleaf desmodium, atro and glycine, and with the tall tropical grasses such as setaria, green panic and Rhodes grass.
Inoculation Group J, but is known to nodulate readily with naturally occurring root nodule bacteria.
Major nutrient deficiencies Varies with soil type, but phosphorus, sulfur and molybdenum are the most likely nutrients to be required.
Main insect pests Relatively free of insect pests. Bean fly can attack young seedlings, but this species is less vulnerable than atro. Good resistance to amnemus weevil.
Main diseases Relatively free of disease problems.
Management As with most viny tropical legumes, it does not stand continuous heavy grazing without sufficient spelling. Maintain sward height above 15 cm to maximise productivity and persistence.
Livestock disorders of particular note No problems reported.
Additional tips Although seedling vigour is good, and it will establish reasonably well on rough seedbeds, establishment will be greatly enhanced by sowing on a well-prepared seedbed.
Further information ‘Axillaris’, Queensland Agricultural Journal, Mar./Apr. 1986, Queensland Department of Primary Industries (DG Cameron).


Advice on livestock health disorders was provided by Dr Chris Bourke, Principal Research Scientist, NSW Agriculture, Orange. His contribution is gratefully acknowledged.

Photo: Bede Clarke, NSW Agriculture, Casino