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(Neonotonia wightii)

Glycine - illustration  
  • trailing perennial
  • more drought tolerant than centro or desmodiums
  • good for the cooler subtropics
  • best on fertile soils
  • commonly grown with green panic.

Neonotonia wightii (Wight & Arnott) Lavkey -
1 flowering and fruiting vines; 2 flower; 3 fruits; 4 seeds.

Glycine grows in areas receiving 850-1,800 mm of rainfall, but it cannot tolerate very acid soils or waterlogging.

Glycine has a higher demand for nutrients (especially phosphorus, potash, molybdenum and lime) than many other tropical legumes, growing best on well-drained scrub soils but also on a number of other soils, including yellow clays derived from shade, black selfmulching soils and medium-textured forest soils if fertilised.

Glycine is a deep-rooting plant producing long, slender, branched and trailing stems that root down readily at the nodes. It combines well with tall grasses such as Petrie green panic and Gatton panic by climbing.

It grows mainly in summer, but is more tolerant of cold than many other tropical legumes, and has grown as far south as the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. Heavy frosts destroy much of the feed value, but light frosts can be tolerated in spring.

Glycines grow for a long season, but their late flowering can make seed production difficult in areas with early frosts.

Glycine has good tolerance of Amnemus weevil, but has been affected by the leaf disease Rhizoctonia solania under very wet conditions at Atherton.

First year grazing should be lenient as most grasses compete strongly with glycine for phosphorus, with spelling in late spring after the first growth has been grazed off. Where frosts are mild, many dairymen save glycine pastures in the late summer and early autumn for grazing in winter.

Glycine-green panic pastures have been used to restore fertility of red loams on the Atherton Tableland after continuous maize cropping. Tinaroo glycine has been able to maintain 2.5 cows per ha in good condition in winter on the Atherton Tableland.

The four main varieties of glycine are Tinaroo, Clarence, Cooper and Malawi.

Tinaroo glycine transformed dairy pastures on the Atherton Tableland, and has grown well on scrub soils in southeastern Queensland. It gives the best autumn-early winter growth as it flowers very late (mid-June) with seed maturing in September. It is therefore used in the more humid areas with a longer growing season, but is too frost susceptible for southern Queensland. It has soft, rather thin leaves, which are bright green in colour.

Clarence is the earliest flowering, beginning in April. It has been grown on fertile well-drained scrub soils in dairying districts on the north coast of New South Wales, but seed is no longer available. The leaflets are slightly more elongated with more prominent veins and dark green in colour.

Cooper flowers in early May. As it holds leaf better in cool conditions, Cooper can be grown further inland, and has performed well on more fertile soils in higher rainfall subcoastal areas of southern Queensland. It has larger, coarser leaves and longer internodes, with a dull green colour.

Malawi is late-flowering, and has good coolseason growth. It is superior on the less fertile and more acid soils of the southern part of the Atherton Tableland. In high rainfall areas of the subtropics and tropical tablelands, Malawi produces highly persistent and productive pastures, and rivals Greenleaf desmodium. Malawi is less well branched and forms a more open sward.

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

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