Tropical Grasslands (1986) Volume 20, 49–52

PERSISTENCE OF SELECTED STYLOSANTHES ACCESSIONS IN PENINSULAR FLORIDA, U.S.A

W.D. PITMAN1, J.B. BROLMANN2 and A.E. KRETSCHMER Jr2

1University of Florida, Agricultural Research Center, Ona, Florida, U.S.A. 33865.
2University of Florida, Agricultural Research Center, Ft.. Pierce, Florida, U.S.A. 33454.

Abstract

Persistence of nine accessions of Stylosanthes guianensis var. guianensis, three accessions of S. hamata, and S. humilis (Townsville stylo) was compared with that of Aeschynomene americana in grass swards under grazing on a Spodosol site in peninsular Florida. None of the accessions perennated, but most flowered and set seed. Stands of A. americana decreased from essentially complete stands in 1982 to 80% coverage of the original planted rows in 1984. Although several S. guianensis accessions covered 50% or more of the original rows in the autumn of 1982 (90% stand for S. guianensis accession 7812), no Stylosanthes accession occupied more than 10% of the original rows by the autumn of 1984. Dense grass competition appeared to be a greater limitation to persistence of these Stylosanthes accessions than the grazing imposed. Even the S. guianensis var. guianensis and S. hamata accessions, which had been selected for persistence from the agronomically desirable types, were not able to persist as well as A. americana in the dense grass swards under grazing in this seasonally wet, subtropical environment.

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