Arachis glabrata Benth. - habit flowering plant with rhizomes.
Creeping forage peanuts are comparatively new, but show great promise for well-grazed legume pastures in the tropics and subtropics. They grow best in moist, well-drained and moderately fertile soils to produce high-quality feed over a long growing season.
The plants have a strong tap-root, but are also strongly rhizomatous along the more prostrate stems. They can spread underground even under heavy grazing, sending up shoots some distance from the base plant in friable soils, and form dense mats up to 20 cm deep.
Although best suited to rainfall above 1100 mm, creeping peanuts can survive dry seasons of 4 months or more.
Creeping forage peanuts are strongly perennial, and can combine with aggressive creeping grasses such as signal and bahia grass to form highly productive pastures for both beef and dairy cattle. They are shade-tolerant, and can grow with tall grasses and under plantation crops.
Compared to Amarillo, Prine is even more tolerant of heavy grazing, aggressive creeping grasses and lower fertility soils. It has been grown on a wide range of soil types, but probably prefers well-drained, low to moderate fertility acid sandy soils and light clays. Prine can form excellent ground cover on poorer soils.
Prine and the glabrata-types are planted vegetatively using harvesters and planters developed in Florida. Vegetative planting solves the problem of specific Rhizobium.
The cost of establishment will limit creeping peanuts to areas of intensive grazing under suitable climates.
The forage peanuts are resistant to the major peanut diseases (peanut rust and leaf
spot), but rats, mice and bandicoots will dig up seed-pods from the soil.
|Creator: Ian Partridge
Date created: 03 April 1998 Revised: 15 January 2003