Scorpiurus muricatus L.: an interesting legume species for Mediterranean forage systems

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Scorpiurus muricatus L. (prickly scorpion’s tail) is a legume species widely distributed as a spontaneous plant in Mediterranean pastures. In Sicily, farmers ascribe to this species a very high palatability and galactogogue effect, so that its abundance increases the value of the pasture. However, despite its worthy traits, the use of S. muricatus as a forage within cropping systems has not been well investigated. A field experiment was performed during two growing seasons in a semiarid Mediterranean environment to acquire information on the productivity of S. muricatus in comparison with other forage species grown in Mediterranean areas (e.g. berseem clover, burr medic, subterranean clover) and on its response to different cutting managements (cuts made in different phenological stages). Results showed that S. muricatus can provide biomass yield similar to, and in some cases higher than, that of the other forage legumes evaluated, differing from these species in its temporal distribution of the biomass accumulation. The findings contribute to define the role that S. muricatus could play in improving the productivity sustainability of the Mediterranean forage systems.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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