- hardy and drought-tolerant perennial
- for wide range of soils, including clays
- more cold-tolerant than the shrubby stylos
- early flowering and prolific seeding
- highly specific Rhizobium.
Caatinga stylo was recently classified as a new species (S. seabrana),
being originally called aff.scabra (Stylosanthes spp. aff. S.
scabra). Caatinga stylos are intermediate in shape and growth between
the shrubby and Caribbean
types, and will complement the shrubby stylos on medium fertility soils
in the subtropical regions too cold for Caribbean stylo. They withstand
early winters and tolerate droughts by seeding early and prolifically
The Caatinga stylos will grow in 500-1000 mm rainfall country and on heavier soils than
the other stylos. They are suitable for the lighter brigalow clay soils, the rolling down
of the Central Highlands, and also for other soils of moderate fertiity such as box-belah
and box woodlands. Experimental plantings have survived as far south and west as the
The Caatinga stylos have a highly specific Rhizobium requirement, and must be
inoculated. Failure to nodulate can result in thin pale grwoth, but this may be masked in
early years when planted in clay soils with moderate levels of available nitrogen.
Two cultivars have been released: Unica is more suited to the northern end of
the Caatinga stylo region, for example around Springsure or Nebo; Primar is likley
to be better in the subtropics.