Strawberry clover

Strawberry clover

Strawberry clover
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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 Perennial legume with main growth in spring, summer and autumn. Useful in saline and waterlogged conditions in mixtures with salt-tolerant grasses.
Area of adaptation Hunter, Metropolitan, all slopes and tableland areas of NSW, and irrigated areas.
Min. average annual rainfall 600 mm (southern NSW) to 650 mm (northern NSW).
  • Valuable component of a pasture mixture in areas where soils become waterlogged, alkaline or are moderately saline, or in pastures where saline irrigation water is used.
  • Will survive an extremely wide range of temperatures, from less than 0°C to higher than 35°C.
  • Once established, strawberry clover will persist under heavy grazing pressure more successfully than will white clover.
  • No serious economic loss from many diseases and insect pests that commonly attack clover.
  • Has poor establishment vigour.
  • Has been known to occasionally cause oestrogenic effects in grazing animals. Can cause bloat.
  • Growth is slow during winter.
  • Summer production relies on adequate soil moisture.
  • Not as tolerant of saline conditions as are tall wheatgrass and puccinellia.
Soil requirements Strawberry clover will grow in waterlogged, saline and alkaline soils.
Varieties Palestine
Grasslands Onward *
Grasslands Upward *

* Denotes that this variety is protected by Plant Breeder’s Rights.

Sowing rates:
- as only species Not irrigated: 1–2 kg/ha
Irrigated: 2–4 kg/ha
- in mixtures 0.5–1 kg/ha
Sowing time Sow in autumn for dryland, or autumn or spring for irrigated.
Companion species Compatible with saline-tolerant grasses, tall wheatgrass and puccinellia, as well as pasture species white clover, perennial ryegrass, phalaris, tall fescue and paspalum.
Inoculation Group B
Major nutrient deficiencies Phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, molybdenum.
Main insect pests Redlegged earth mite and blue oat mite, particularly during establishment. Few other insects have caused economic loss.
Main diseases No major diseases of economic importance.
Management Strawberry clover will withstand heavy continuous grazing once the plants have developed strong runners and the sward is properly established. Plants should be allowed to flower and set seed in the first season to ensure a bank of seed to thicken the stand in subsequent years.
Grazing pressure on a mixed pasture containing strawberry clover should be such that the clover remains at 30% of the total composition.
Livestock disorders of particular note Infertility sometimes due to oestrogenic compounds; bloat in cattle; urinary calculi (clover stones) incidence may increase in sheep; occasionally red gut in sheep.
Further information
  • Agfact P2.5.29 Strawberry clover.
  • Dryland Salinity, ‘4. Productive use of salt affected land’, Salt Action Group.


The contributions of Andrew Wooldridge (Cowra) and Alan Nicholson (Wellington), from the NSW Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, are gratefully acknowledged.

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

Photo: Mary-Anne Lattimore, NSW Agriculture, Yanco.