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Puero
(Pueraria phaseoloides)

Puero - illustration  
  • climbing perennial vine
  • rooting runners
  • for wet tropical lowlands
  • tolerant of shading
  • very palatable.

Pueraria phaseoloides (Roxb) Benth -
1
flowering branch; 2 flower-frontal and side views; 3 fruit; 4 seeds.

Puero has been used as a pioneer crop, green manure and a ground cover under plantation crops in the humid tropics.

It is a vigorous, climbing vine which sends out stems up to 10 m in length. These runners are covered with rusty-brown hairs, but root readily from the nodes and along the internodes in moist soils.

It establishes and grows vigorously in pastures, forming a dense, smothering mat under lightly grazed condition, nodulating well and fixing plenty of nitrogen. However, it is very palatable. As it does not persist under heavy grazing, puero should be sown with more persistent species such as centro.

Puero is a tropical species requiring a long reliable wet season with at least 1200-1500 mm of rainfall and no regular dry season; it will grow through a mild winter but will drop its leaf if the temperature falls below 10C. It prefers deep fertile loams, especially alluvial clays (tolerating a pH of below 5), but responding markedly to fertiliser P on poorer soils.

The flowers of puero are very susceptible to caterpillar attack, and must be sprayed with insecticide to make seed production feasible.

Creator: Ian Partridge
Date created: 03 April 1998  Revised: 15 January 2003
 

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