Hedysarum coronarium. FRENCH HONEYSUCKLE. Big bright red clover-like flowers above handsome leaves. Needs sun and good drainage. Short-lived, but . Development of sulla (Hedysarum coronarium) for better adaptation to grazing. G.B. DOUGLAS, R.G. KEOGH and A.G. FOOTE. AgResearch Grasslands, Private . Hedysarum coronarium. Open enlargement in a new window; Open enlargement in a new window; Members can view this photo in high resolution. Members.

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Sulla Hedysarum coronarium L. Sulla is mostly upright, cm high with thick, succulent stems that become slightly woody after flowering.

It has a deep, branching tap-root up to 2 m deepwith many secondary roots. The leaves consist of pairs of oval leaflets with a single terminal leaflet. They are glabrous above and hairy below. The flower heads are racemes of florets, light pink to bright red and hedysarjm, each mm long.

Sulla produces brown segmented pods with a rough, thorny surface. The pods are non-shattering, but will split into segments de Koning et al. The composition of these forages is more influenced by the vegetative stage at harvest than by the botanical species Kadi, It should be noted that the sulla species is not always reported precisely in research papers.

Sulla is a highly palatable, nutritious and productive forage for ruminant production de Koning et al. The species plays a key role in cereal-based systems of coronariu regions, particularly in organic and low-input agriculture, and is commonly used to enhance the productivity and sustainability of farming systems e.

One of the main values of sulla is its water requirement coupled to its ability to provide large amounts of palatable forage in steppe areas Crocker et al. Since the s, there has been a growing interest in sulla in traditional and non-traditional areas particularly in New Zealand and Australiadue to its excellent adaptability to marginal and drought-prone environments, versatility as a good quality, high-protein forage crop, and its moderate levels of condensed tannins beneficial to ruminant production Ruisi et al.

Sulla is often compared to alfalfa for its quality and productivity, but unlike this legume its higher tannin content makes sulla suitable only to ruminants including deer and alpacas and other herbivore species that can tolerate tannins.

It is not used in poultry or pig production, or in aquaculture.

Sulla originated in the western Mediterranean region and North Africa. Wild and domesticated sulla are also found in Spain, Portugal, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, though populations have declined in North Africa due to drought and agricultural pressure Ben Jeddi, It has been introduced into other countries, notably New Zealand and Australia.

Sulla coronaria – Wikipedia

One limitation to the introduction of sulla outside its native area is that it requires a specific root-nodule bacteria Rhizobium sullae for optimum nodulation and maximum nitrogen fixation. In countries where the soil does not contain this rhizobium, it is necessary to inoculate the seeds. Sulla grows from sea level to the frost line in the uplands in the Mediterranean area.

Sulla has been observed in areas with more than mm rainfall Ben Jeddi, and has a high drought tolerance. For that reason, it is used for forage in semi-arid and arid regions Foster, It usually does not grow well on coarse-textured soils, where inconsistent nodulation has coronarihm reported. Sulla prefers slightly acid to alkaline soils 5. Better growth is achieved on the more alkaline soils de Koning et al.

It has moderate to high fertility requirements. It has low to moderate tolerance to waterlogging and no tolerance to coroarium. Sulla is not seriously affected by pests and diseases but under wet conditions it can be susceptible to root rot and is occasionally affected by powdery mildew and Rhizoctonia. Sulla has good tolerance to aphids, redlegged earth mite and alfalfa flea FAO, ; Foster, With its high dry matter yields and ease for cutting, sulla is suitable as green forage crop or for hay or silage.


It is not recommended to hexysarum sulla in the first year as a first year cut will weaken the stand and DM yield is often much higher in the second year. Sulla makes good silage. Including large amounts of sulla in silage e. Sulla has a high water soluble carbohydrate content which enhances silage quality.

However, cutting at the right stage is not always possible, resulting in lignified stems and lower quality hay Leto et al. Like other legumes, sulla tends to shed leaves during hay making but leaf retention is better than for alfalfa. Sulla retains most leaf if conditioned and raked carefully. Sulla is considered a productive forage.

Second-year yields are often not always higher than first-year yields. In Tunisia, yield of irrigated sulla was 6. When grown under poor conditions e. In the establishment year, sulla should be lightly grazed to hsdysarum good root development and plant numbers for the second year. Sulla does not tolerate heavy grazing as the relatively high soft crowns and succulent stems are preferentially grazed and easily damaged.

Rotational grazing is to be preferred with days of rest between grazing regrowth of cm highdepending on moisture, day-length and soil temperature. Sulla can be a pioneer species in poor, compact and degraded soils and, as an N-fixing legume, improve soil fertility for the next crop Ben Jeddi, Coronqrium, sulla was introduced in the s for erosion control in New Zealand Krishna et al.

In New Zealand, dairy cows grazing sulla produced less methane per unit DM intake Sulla is valued for honey production, roadside beautification and landscape architecture Foster, ; Ruisi et al.

Its nutritive value decreases rapidly coroarium the plant matures Ben Jeddi, The coeonarium has a lower quality than the fresh material due to the loss of leaves during and after harvest. Sulla is reported to be safe to livestock.

In particular, it does not cause bloat in ruminants FAO, The leaves, stems and flowers of sulla are rich in condensed tannins and levels of 0. Tannin levels depend on the environment, growth stage and genotype Amato et al. In New Zealand, a sulla pasture contained more condensed tannins in spring than in autumn 8. Condensed tannins have detrimental effects in monogastrics and coronariim effects in ruminants are debated.

Sulla tannins may help to lower methane emissions in ruminants Woodward et al. They also have beneficial effects on animal health by reducing parasite numbers Waghorn, Sulla is a high quality forage for ruminants.

In Australia, it is considered as ideal for finishing prime lambs or beef cattle due to enhanced growth rates.

Hedysarum coronarium – Plant Finder

Sulla has the capacity to increase milk production in dairy cows de Koning et al. However, most feeding experiments reported concerned sheep production. The nutritive value decreases with maturity: Sulla is very palatable to hedyasrum, who will selectively graze it when sown in a mixed sward.

Quality peaks just before flowering, but the foliage becomes less palatable once flowering coronariium as stems become more fibrous de Koning et al. The cironarium are succulent and well accepted by livestock: Sulla has been shown to increase resistance to parasites such as nematodes in sheep and deer, an effect attributed to the presence of condensed tannins. Sulla tannins were effective in the inhibition of larval migration of deer lungworms and gastrointestinal nematodes Molan et al.


Several experiments in New Zealand have shown sulla to be valuable for dairy cows. Sulla silage was found to be a ehdysarum supplement for grazing dairy cows during summer. Cows grazing hsdysarum had a higher DM intake While sulla has been reported as ideal for finishing beef cattle de Koning et al.

There have been numerous trials in Italy, North Africa, Australia and New Zealand looking at the value of sulla in sheep for meat, milk and wool production.

Grazing on sulla forage has been shown to have a positive impact on the productivity of meat and dairy sheep Burke et al. In Australia, ewes grazing a sulla-based pasture for 8 weeks had better growth rate, final weight and wool growth longer wool than ewes grazing a control pasture of grass and subclover de Koning et al.

In New Zealand, better performance of lambs grazing sulla compared with alfalfa was attributed to the protective effects of condensed tannins on nematode infection and protein protection in the rumen Niezen et al. In Italy, a comparison of sulla-oat hay and sulla-oat silage fed to lactating ewes did not show differences in DM intake, milk yield, milk protein, milk fat, cheese yield and cheese microbiological characteristics, and it was concluded that sulla silage was a good alternative to sulla hay Leto et al.

A diet of sulla minimized scouring and the formation of dags locks of wool matted with dung that tend to attract flies de Koning et al. The condensed tannins of sulla may have beneficial effects on product quality. Milk from dairy ewes grazing sulla at flowering had a lower content of conjugated linoleic acid, but croonarium richer in n-3 fatty acid and had a lower n However, while overstocking led to a lower total milk yield per goat, it also produced the highest daily and total milk yield per ha Hecysarum et al.

In New Zealand, young red and hybrid deer In Southern Italy, sulla is a traditional forage used in rabbit cofonarium. In small farms, sulla is cultivated as a single forage or mixed with oats, ryegrass and, sometimes, vetch, coronatium the hay is used to feed rabbits Bovera et al. It is a source of protein and mainly of fibre, with a potential use comparable to that of alfalfa or berseem.

Sulla used as sole cofonarium can support maintenance and enable corojarium growth rates, particularly if the young plant or leaves are used Proto et al. Sulla is generally considered as highly cornoarium for horses de Koning et al. However, a comparison of grazing preferences in New Zealand showed that sulla, alfalfa and sainfoin were much less palatable than grasses brome, ryegrass, cocksfoot and white clover Trifolium repens Hunt et al.

Plant and animal families Plant and animal species. Datasheet Description Click on the “Nutritional aspects” tab for recommendations for ruminants, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans. Legume forages Forage plants. Alfalfa Medicago sativa Sainfoin Onobrychis viciifolia.

Hedysarum coronarium

Morphological description Sulla is mostly upright, cm high with thick, succulent stems that become slightly woody after flowering. Silage Sulla makes good silage. Yield and productivity Sulla is considered a productive forage.

Grazing In the establishment year, sulla should be lightly grazed to ensure good root development and plant numbers for the second year. Soil improver coronariuum erosion control Sulla can be a pioneer species in poor, compact and coronaeium soils and, as an N-fixing legume, improve soil fertility for the next crop Ben Jeddi,