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Bartolo Bladder Clover


Trifolium spumosum

Regenerating annual pastures

Adaptable over wide soils types, very high levels of hard seed

  • Adaptable to a wide range of soil types
  • Some tolerance to RLEM
  • Very high hard seed levels
  • Excellent base legume for regenerating pastures
  • Suitable for low rainfall pastures
  • Winter forage production
Seed Agronomy Table
Flowering 105 days
Hard Seed Level (description) High
Waterlogging Tolerance Fair
Seeding Rate - Dryland (kg/ha) 8 - 14
Seeding Rate - High Rainfall/Irrigation (kg/ha) 15 - 20
Hard Seed Level 1 = Least Hard 10 = Most Hard • Burr Burial Strength 1 = Very Weak 10 = Very Strong
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  • Goldstrike®


  • Productive annual forage tolerant of heavy grazing in medium-low rainfall areas
  • Suited to self-regenerating ley or short-term phase farming systems
  • Protection against false breaks
  • Very well adapted to mildly acid and alkaline sandy-loam and loam soils
  • High level of hard seed enables regeneration after cropping
  • Ideal companion plant in mixtures with other legumes such as medic, subterranean clover or serradella


  • Not adapted to waterlogged soils

Plant Description
  • Bladder clover is a pasture legume for grazing in ley or short-term phase farming systems.

Pasture Type and Use

Bladder clover is a pasture legume for grazing in ley or short-term phase farming systems


Suited to regions with 325 to 500 millimetres annual rainfall. with a predominantly autumn-winter-spring distribution.


Bladder clover grows on a range of soils with pH ranging from 5.0 to 8.0 (CaCl2) and soil textures, provided they have reasonable fertility. Not tolerant of prolonged waterlogging or salinity.


Susceptible to severe frosts.

  • Compatible with many annual legumes (e.g. subterranean clover, biserrula, serradella, crimson clover, rose clover and gland clover, annual medics) and perennial grasses (e.g. Italian and perennial ryegrass, festulolium, consol lovegrass and Premier digit grass).

  • 1 to 5 kilograms per hectare. Ensure seed is Goldstrike® treated with other pasture legumes.

  • 10 to 15 kilograms per hectare. Ensure seed is Goldstrike® treated. Sow shallow at 0.5 centimetres. Rolling after sowing is an advantage.

  • Sow bladder clover as close to the break of season in autumn as possible.

  • Goldstrike® treated. The use of Goldstrike® seed treatment is recommended to reduce damage from insects at seedling stages.

  • Sow with 100 to 150 kilograms per hectare superphosphate, or super/potash if on sand soils.

  • Can be heavily grazed in winter. Reduce stocking rate at flowering time.

  • Many seeds of bladder clover survive ingestion by sheep and can be easily spread around paddocks.

  • There have not been reported cases of bladder clover growing within native vegetation.

  • Bladder clover is moderately tolerant to blue green aphid and lucerne flea.

  • It has little or no sensitivity to clover scorch (Kabatiella caulivora) disease. Occasional infections of pseudopeziza leafspot have been observed in high rainfall areas.

  • Bladder clover is sensitive to many of the more common broadleaf herbicides including Bromoxynil, Spinnaker® and Raptor®. Broadstrike® appears reasonably safe and Tigrex® may offer an intermediate weed control option. Grass weeds can be safely controlled with common grass-selective herbicides.

Animal Production
  • The feeding value of bladder clover is similar to subterranean clover. Digestibility of bladder clover in spring is usually around 82 per cent, with 22 per cent crude protein, these values decrease with senescence. Grazing trials have shown no differences in live weight change or wool growth between sheep grazing bladder and subterranean clovers.

  • Readily eaten by livestock. Anecdotal evidence is that pods are not readily sought by livestock.

  • The quantity of forage produced by bladder clover is generally equivalent or better than current pasture options. Peak dry matter yields in small ungrazed experimental swards have ranged between 4 and 7 tonne per hectare.

  • No livestock disorders have been reported but, as with most legumes, could cause bloat in cattle in very pure bladder clover swards. Levels of formononetin (0.015 per cent) and genistein (0.002 per cent) in bladder clover are lower than in subterranean clover cv Dalkeith and are unlikely to cause a phyto-oestrogen effect in grazing animals.

  • Agwest® Bartolo is the first cultivar of bladder clover commercially released to world agriculture.

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