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Button Clover (Medicago orbicularis)

Plant Characteristics: Winter annual with leafy stems, fimbriate stipules, oval non-hairy leaflets with toothed margins, orange-yellow flowers, and flat, coiled seed pods with no spines.

Establishment: Seed is not readily available but could be planted between September and October at a rate of 10 lb/ac. Button clover establishes well in loam or clay soils, but grows best in limestone soils and should be planted at 1/4 inch depth. Germination takes 7 to 14 days. It can reseed itself.

Fertilization: Lime the soil if soil pH is less than 6. It grows well in soil pH between 6.2 and 7.8. No N is required, P and K recommendations should be based on soil test recommendations.

Grazing/Hay Management: It could be used for pasture or hay. Season production occurs between March and May and yields are very low (1 to 2.5 tons/ac). Grazing too close has a reduction in stand persistence. Rotational grazing is recommended. Only cut can be obtained for hay production

Quality: Very nutritious (CP ranges from 12 to 16%).

Varieties: n/a

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Portrait of Dr. Rocky Lemus
Extension/Research Professor
Forage Establishment, Grazing Systems and Management, Hay Production, Forage Fertility, Forage Quali