Better Pastures for the tropics - banner


Stylo, Townsville
(Stylosanthes humilis)

Stylo - illustration  
  • the original annual stylo for the tropics
  • devasted by anthracnose
  • still naturalised but unreliable production.

Stylosanthes humilis Kenth -
1,2, habit of flowering and fruiting branches; 3 flower; 4 fruit.

Townsville stylo spread rapidly after being introduced to the seasonally dry tropics, and was recognised as valuable cattle feed as early as the 1920s.

Townsville stylo is a low-growing annual with narrow stems and narrow pointed leaves. The seeds are hooked. It prefers freely-drained light-textured soils, but is well adapted to a wider range of soils.

Townsville stylo is an annual, germinating at the start of the wet season and flowering from March to May. It cannot tolerate shade, but grows well in heavily grazed native pastures, sometimes leading to the loss of perennial grasses.

Although it is no longer used as a commercial legume since it was devastated by anthracnsoe in the 1970s, Townsville stylo is naturalised in many districts and can provide useful feed. However, in those wetter years when it becomes abundant, it usually gets wiped out by disease.

It has been replaced by naturalised Verano stylo in many places.

Creator: Ian Partridge
Date created: 07 April 1998  Revised: 15 January 2003

Better Pastures home page