Effects of white clover cultivar and companion grass on winter survival of seedlings in autumn-sown swards

A. Elgersma, H. Schlepers

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The aim was to study the effects of white clover cultivar and combinations with perennial ryegrass cultivars on seedling establishment in autumn-sown swards and on winter survival of seedlings. Large-leaved white clover cv. Alice and small-leaved white clover cv. Gwenda, and an erect and a prostrate perennial ryegrass cultivar were sown in autumn in pure stands and as four binary grass-clover mixtures. Mixtures of white clover cv. Huia and Aberherald with perennial ryegrass were also sown. Companion grasses had no significant impact on the establishment of white clover. The number of seedlings of white clover cv. Alice in mixtures (335 m(-2)) was higher than cv. Gwenda (183 m(-2)) and pure swards had similar white clover population densities as mixed swards. White clover cv. Huia tended to have more seedlings than Aberherald (355 and 205 m-2 respectively). No stolons were produced prior to a severe winter, because of the late sowing date. Winter survival of clover seedlings was 0.56 in mixtures and 0.69 in pure stands, irrespective of white clover or companion grass cultivar. Stolon development of white clover in autumn is often considered essential for overwintering survival and spring growth. In this study, there was considerable survival of the non-stoloniferous tap-rooted seedlings of all four clover cultivars despite a severe winter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-219
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • trifolium-repens l.
  • perennial ryegrass
  • growth


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