Biserrula

Biserrula pelicinus

Synonyms - Astragalus pelicinus
Biserrula pelecinus

Family: Fabaceae

Names:

Biserrula is from bi meaning twice and serrula is Latin for a little saw referring to the toothed crests on the pods

Other Names:

Summary:

An introduced pasture legume with distinctive seed pods.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

First leaves:

Leaves:

Made up of many paired leaflets.
Stipules -
Petiole - yes.
Blade - of leaflet, oval, serrated, hairy, notched tip.
Stem leaves -

Stems:

Hairy, scrambling.

Flower head:

Clusters of flowers.

Flowers:

Purple, pea type.
Ovary -
Calyx -
Perianth -
Sepals -
Petals -
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

Pod

Seeds:

Small

Roots:

Taproot.
Nitrogen fixing nodules.

Key Characters:

Scrambling hairy stems.
Paired serrated, hairy leaflets that may have a notched tip.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Annual.

Physiology:

Legume. Fixes atmospheric nitrogen by a rhizobia association in the roots.

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

Spring.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

Cultivars include Casbah.
Several cultivars have been selected for commercial evaluation

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seed.

Origin and History:

Introduced and spread by deliberate plantings as a pasture legume.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Not recorded as naturalised.

Habitats:

Climate:

Mediterranean

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Produces good quantities of palatable fodder.
Fixes atmospheric nitrogen in the soil.

Detrimental:

Toxicity:

Symptoms:

Treatment:

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Picloram based products such as Tordon® 75-D will provide good knockdown and residual control.

Herbicide resistance:

None reported.

Biological Control:

Related plants:

None in the same genus in Australia.
Medics, Clover, Lupins, Peas

Plants of similar appearance:

Vetch has purple flowers and similar leaves but has a tendril on the end of each leaf.
Caltrop has similar leaves but yellow flowers.

References:

Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).

Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information for more information.