FORBES AND LEGUMES
Birdsfoot Trefoil: (Lotus corniculatus)
Birdsfoot trefoil is a moderately long lived herbaceous perennial legume. It has well developed, branching, tap like root with side roots near the soil surface. Most cultivars are erect and grow to a height of 2 to 3 feet. Birdsfoot trefoil is generally used in areas that receive 20 inches of precipitation or more. It performs well on soils to shallow or too poorly drained for alfalfa. Birdsfoot trefoil can be used for hay or pasture. It is normally seeding in a mixture with grasses and grazed as a non -bloating legume.
Cultivars: Norcen, Viking, Mansfield, Leo, Empire, Dawn, Fergus, Cascade, Granger, Mackinaw, and Kalo
Alfalfa: (Medicago sativa)
Alfalfa is a long lived perennial legume. Flowers vary in color from purple to yellow and are borne in loose clusters. Alfalfa grows best on deep, well drained, friable soils. Alfalfa is harvested as hay which is processed or fed directly to livestock, or for seed production. It is grazed by all types of domestic livestock. Caution should be taken when using alfalfa for grazing due to its high bloat hazard. Alfalfa can also be used in a variety of human consumption items.
Cultivars: Ladak, Wrangler, Shaw, Vernal and many other public and private varieties
Sainfoin: (Onobrychis viciifolia)
Sainfoin is a deep rooted perennial legume arising from a branching root crown. Flowers are showy and pink, white or purple and tightly arranged in a compact raceme with 20 to 50 flowers per head. Its large, deep tap root also makes this species fairly drought tolerant. Sainfoin is a non-bloat causing legume which can be used as hay, or grazed in pastures. Sainfoin is highly palatable to sheep and cattle and is preferred over alfalfa. Sainfoin has low salt tolerance and does not do well in areas with high water tables or wet soils. It is best adapted to soils at least 18 inches deep and prefers areas receiving at least 14 inches annual precipitation.
Cultivars: Eski, Melrose, Nova, Remont, Renumex, Shoshone and Delaney
Woods Rose: (Rosa woodsii)
Woods rose is an native shrub growing 8 to 80 inches high, rhizomatous, with shallow, frequently branching fibrous roots, sometimes forming impenetrable thickets. Fruits of woods rose are a good source of energy and protein for many animals. These plants are also used as ornamentals near homes to attract birds and other wildlife. Woods rose is commonly a dominant species on riparian and wetland sites, but is adapted to a broad range of moisture conditions. It has moderate shade tolerance and will grow at elevations of 2,500 to 11,500 feet.
Small Burnet: (Sanguisorba minor)
Small burnet is a hardy, relatively long lived, evergreen, introduced perennial forb. Total height varies from 6 to 25 inches. Small burnet has excellent cold winter, drought tolerance and does best on well drained soils and infertile to disturbed soils in areas receiving14 inches or more annual precipitation. Small burnet is noted to have excellent forage value for livestock and wildlife during all seasons.
Alsike Clover: (Trifolium hybridum)
Alsike clover is an introduced, short lived, non creeping perennial with a growth habit similar to red clover. Alsike is well adapted to a wide range of soil types and grows well in northern latitudes and at high elevations. It prefers silty clay loams where the annual precipitation is 18 inches or more. Alsike does not tolerate droughty sites but will withstand spring flooding up to 6 weeks. Alsike clover is used for hay, pasture, and soil improvement.
Cultivars: Aurora and Dawn
Blue Flax/Lewis Flax: (Linum perenne / Linum lewisii)
In general flax is an annual short lived, semi evergreen perennial forb, sometimes semi woody at base with attractive flowers ranging from white to blue to yellow to red in color. All flax species are noted for their value in mixes for erosion control and beautification values. The 6 week flowering period and showy blue flowers make seedings more aesthetically pleasing and increase plant biodiversity. Flax species do best on well drained soils and have excellent winter hardiness and drought tolerance.
Cultivars: Appar and Maple Grove Germplasm
Yellow Sweet Clover/White Sweet Clover: (Melilotus officinalis / Melilotus alba)
Biennial sweetclover is a legume introduced into the United States from Europe and Asia in the early 1700ís. Sweetclover is adapted to a wide range of soils and is winter hardy and drought tolerant. It grows best on fertile, well drained, calcareous soils.
Yellow type: Madrid, Goldtop, Norgold and Yukon
White type: Evergreen and Polara
White Clover: (Trifolium repens)
White clover is a perennial legume that originated in Europe and has become one of the most widely distributed legumes in the world. It thrives best in a cool moist climate in soils with ample lime, phosphate, and potash. White clover is best adapted to clay and silt soils. White clover is a very important pasture legume; it is highly palatable and nutritious for all classes of livestock and most wildlife.
Cultivars: Ladino, Pilgrim and Merit
Red Clover: (Trifolium pretense)
Red clover is a tall, short lived perennial legume introduced from Europe. It thrives in cool and humid or irrigated areas and is less drought tolerant than alfalfa. Red clover is best adapted to medium to fine textured soils. It is commonly used in short rotation hay crops. Has good palatability to livestock, especially in the summer.
Cultivars: Kenland, Redland, Arlington and Mammoth
Cicer Milkvetch: (Astragalus cicer)
Cicer milkvetch is a spreading, warm season perennial legume introduced from Eurasia. Cicer grows in moist grasslands, open woodlands, flood drainage, and meadows. It is well adapted to all soil types, but does best on loam to sandy loam soils derived from limestone. Cicer milkvetch is palatable to livestock and most wildlife and is also considered a non-bloating legume.
Cultivars: Lutana, Monarch and Oxley
Yellow Sweet Clover
1 Mile North - Highway 232
PO Box 1028
Havre, Montana 59501