Better Pastures for the tropics - banner

Centro, Centurion
(Centrosema pascuorum)

Centro - illustration
  • highly palatable
  • good nitrogen fixation
  • for grazing, ley farming or hay
  • twining annual for monsoon region

Centrosema pascuorum Murtius ex Senth.-

1 flowering branch;
2 calyx;
3 flower;
4 fruits.


Centurion centro is a twining or scrambling annual that can root from the nodes under moist conditions. It is well suited to the monsoonal conditions at the top end of the Northern Territory and in northern Queensland.

The erect leaflets are long and narrow (50-100 mm by 5-10 mm), and often orientate themselves towards the sun. The flowers are red to purple, producing seed pods that shatter violently when mature, scattering seed up to 1 metre. Centurion regenerates aggressively and competes well with associated grasses.

Centurion centro is grown either as a ley legume to restore soil fertility after sorghum cropping, to be cut as high quality hay, or for deferred dry season grazing.

Bundey and Cavalcade are fast-growing cultivars for the 700-1500 mm rainfall zone with strong wet and dry seasons. Both these centros are heavy seeders, very palatable and good nitrogen fixers. They are planted on good soils, but can tolerate waterlogging and some flooding typical on the coastal plains.

Cavalcade starts flowering in mid-March, Bundey in mid-April. Bundey is better suited to the seasonally flooded condition in the Northern Territory and to areas with a longer growing season (1300-1500 mm), whereas Cavalcade is better in areas with a short wet season (700-900 mm). Bundey has smaller seeds, and hairy stems and petioles.

Creator: Ian Partridge
Date created: 08 April 1998  Revised: 15 January 2003

Better Pastures home page