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Stylosanthes – Wikipedia

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**Description and Taxonomy**:
Genus characterized by trifoliate leaves and small yellow flowers
– Species may be annual or perennial
– Morphology varies within species in response to grazing pressure
– Taxonomy unsettled with 25-42 species favored by various authors
– Except two species, all native to the Americas
– S. fruticosa native range extends from South Africa to Ethiopia

**Species Diversity**:
– Accepted species include S. angustifolia, S. biflora, S. bracteata, S. calcicola, S. campestris
– Also S. capitata, S. erecta, S. falconensis, S. fruticosa, S. guianensis
– And S. hamata, S. hippocampoides, S. hispida, S. humilis, S. ingrata
– Additionally S. leiocarpa, S. linearifolia, S. longicarpa, S. longiseta, S. macrocarpa
– Also S. macrocephala, S. macrosoma, S. maracajuensis, S. mexicana, S. montevidensis

**Usage and Benefits**:
– Valuable forage species with nitrogen fixation capability
– Can improve soil fertility and provide high protein stock feed
– Adapted to hot, dry climates and drought resistant
– Widely used tropical pasture legume
– Used for land reclamation, soil stabilization, and regeneration work

**Challenges and Concerns**:
– Can dominate pasture and cause erosion issues
– Can lead to soil acidification due to nitrate buildup
– Susceptible to anthracnose fungus which can retard growth
– Considered invasive species in certain regions
– Numerous commercial cultivars abandoned due to issues

**Research and Development**:
– Studies on taxonomy, genetic diversity, cultivation, and productivity
– Research conducted in various countries including India
– Habitat and climate affinities of Stylosanthes species
– Publications and conferences focusing on Stylosanthes research
– Insights into soil responses and cover crops in relation to Stylosanthes

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