The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
January 1981 Circular S-275
'FLORIGRAZE' RHIZOMA PEANUT
A Perennial Forage Legume
G. M. Prine, L. S. Dunavin,
J. E. Moore and R. D. Roush
Agricultural Experiment Stations
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida. Gainesville
F. A. Wood, Dean for Research
in cooperation with USDA
Cover. Main scene: Coverage of Florigraze rhizoma peanut in
May, 1978 following establishment by placing rhizome
mats 1 foot square (930 cm') in hills 6 feet apart in every
direction on March 4, 1977. Inset: Closeup of Florigraze
'FLORIGRAZE' RHIZOMA PEANUT
A Perennial Forage Legume
G. M. Prine, L. S. Dunavin,
J. E. Moore and R. D. Roush
This publication was printed in cooperation
with the USDA Soil Conservation Service
This public document was promulgated at an annual cost of
$2,723.30 or a cost of 54.5r per copy to inform Florida Exten-
sion personnel, ranchers, and forage producers of research
results and potential uses of Florigraze rhizoma peanut.
Dr. G. M. Prine is Professor, Agronomy Department, University of Flor-
ida, Gainesville. Dr. L. S. Dunavin is Associate Professor of Agronomy,
IFAS Agricultural Research Center at Jay. Dr. J. E. Moore is Professor,
Animal Science Department, University of Florida, Gainesville. R. D.
Roush is Manager, SCS, Plant Materials Center, Brooksville, Florida.
Introduction ................................................ 1
O rigin ............................................................ 1
Description ....................................................... 1
Establishment ................................................... 2
Forage Yields ..................................................... 9
Hay Digestibility and Protein Content ............................ 10
Management for Hay ...................... ..................... 15
Dehydrated Products ................... ......................... 15
Grazing Management ................... ........................ 16
W inter Management .................. ........................... 17
Fertilization and Liming Established Rhizoma Peanuts ........... 17
Pests .................... ... ................................. 19
Ornamental Uses .................................................. 19
Cover Crop ....................................................... 20
Weediness ................... ....... ....................... 20
Planting Material ................................................ 21
References ....................................................... 22
Trade names of products, where given, are used for the purpose of provid-
ing specific information. Use of a commercial name is not intended as an
endorsement of products named, nor as criticism of similar products not
'Florigraze' rhizoma peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.) is a warm-
season perennial forage legume having value as both a hay and
grazing crop. Florigraze can be grown alone or in a mixture with
perennial summer grasses, and promises to fulfill the need for a
persistent, high quality perennial legume on the well-drained soils
of Florida. The rhizoma peanut is a new crop to both farmers and
researchers, so many of the details in managing the crop are incom-
plete at present.
Florigraze peanut was first observed by G. M. Prine when a
rapidly spreading peanut plant appeared in the spring of 1962
between year-old plots of'Arb' (PI 118457) and PI 151982 rhizoma
peanuts on the main Agronomy Farm at Gainesville. When it
appeared that the plant was different from plants in either adjacent
plot, vegetative material was collected and established in a separate
plot. This peanut was tested as Gainesville Selection No. 1. (GS-1)
until named Florigraze. We suspect that Florigraze is a seedling
from Arb; the Arb material was collected by W. Archer near Campo
Grande, Brazil in 1936 (10).
Rhizoma peanut is the common name given perennial members
in section Rhizomatosae of the peanut genus Arachis which have
underground stems or rhizomes. Florigraze has rhizomes and is a
long-lived perennial of the species glabrata, one of the 30 to 50
species in the genus Arachis (6). Most of these species are perennial,
but several species are annuals, including the common peanut (A.
hypogaea L.). The origin of A. glabrata is in South America, where
this species is reported from about 8 to 350 south latitude (7).
Naturally occurring stands of glabrata and other wild species of the
genus Arachis form an important part of the herbage supporting
vast herds of cattle in South America.
The Soil Conservation Service (SCS), Plant Materials Center at
Brooksville, Florida has named and distributed to farmers for test-
ing several introductions of rhizoma peanut. Small acreages of two
of these cultivars, Arb (2) and 'Arblick' (PI 262839), are now grow-
ing in the state.
Florigraze peanut is finer stemmed and has narrower leaflets on
the quadrifoliate leaves than Arb or Arblick. The rhizome diameter
of Florigraze is smaller and usually has a greater number of rhi-
zomes per unit area of soil. A rhizomateous mat of Florigraze
(Figure 1) has more budding points and develops more shoots per
unit of soil surface than a similar sized mat of Arb or Arblick.
Florigraze and Arb flowers are yellow-orange, whereas Arblick
flowers are creamy-yellow. Florigraze usually does not flower as
profusely as Arb or Arblick. Seeds develop very rarely on these
three rhizoma peanuts.
Florigraze is adapted to well-drained soils but not to "flatwoods
soils"or to any soil which is subject to high water tables. It grows most
rapidly during the warm, moist periods of the year, even though
some growth will occur during any long frost-free period. A new
planting of Florigraze peanuts survived a winter at the SCS Plant
Materials Center near Americus, Georgia when temperatures
dropped as low as 3F (-14C) (13). Florigraze peanuts can survive
low temperatures because of their rhizome system which grows
several inches below the soil surface; however, with a long cold
season, forage production will be too low for practical use.
The potential yield of rhizoma peanuts is greater in the longer
warm season of South Florida than in North Florida. Florigraze
production in the Continental United States will be limited to Flor-
ida and warmer portions of other southernmost states.
Once established, Florigraze is quite drought resistant. If drought
is severe, the top growth may completely die and then regenerate
from rhizomes following rainfall. During shorter drought periods,
top growth is slow, but recovery is rapid after adequate rainfall
occurs. Around the world, Florigraze peanut should be productive
on well-drained soils in humid tropical and subtropical areas.
Florigraze can be planted in moderately-well to extremely well-
drained soils of all textures. Peanuts, to be dug for rhizomes, should
only be planted on sandy soils without rocks or high clay content
which interfere with digging. Coverage of Florigraze is often slow
on eroded clay subsoils, apparently due to inability of rhizomes to
penetrate the dense soil.
Soils should be tested before planting rhizoma peanuts, and lime
and fertilizer should be applied and incorporated into soil prior to
planting. If soil test recommendations are not available, 300 pounds
per acre (336 kg/ha) of 0-10-20 (N-P205-K20) fertilizer before plant-
ing and 300 pounds per acre of the same fertilizer in early August of
the establishment season is recommended. Sulfur and minor ele-
ments should also be applied prior to planting on most soils.
A soil pH range of 5.8 to 6.5, usually suggested for the common
peanut, appears to be satisfactory for rhizoma peanuts. Soil CaO
and MgO should be at least 750 and 100 pounds/acre (840 and 112
Shoots of Florigraze cut at late hay stage and planted in soil under
field conditions rarely survive, so Florigraze needs to be propagated
from rhizomes. We have used modified potato diggers to lift most of
our Florigraze rhizomes (Figures 2 and 3). Some peanut diggers
might also be modified to do this job satisfactorily.
Recently a bermudagrass sprig digger was used to dig Florigraze
rhizomes (Figure 4). There was some rhizome loss in harvesting,
but most rhizome pieces lived after planting and put up one or more
shoots. Because the sprig digger tears rhizomes into short pieces,
usually less than 12 inches (30 cm), the amount of area covered per
rhizome piece may be small in the planting year. It is possible that
with more experience this machine can be adapted to digging pea-
To harvest rhizomes with the modified potato digger, the rhizome
mass is first cut into square or rectangular mats or long ribbons
with gangs of rolling coulters. Then the digger lifts and shakes soil
from the rhizomes and deposits them on top of the soil. Mat squares
smaller than 12 inches (30 cm) on a side are difficult to dig. Rhi-
zomes dig easiest when cut in long narrow ribbons in the direction of
digging. They should not be allowed to stand for long periods in
sunlight, but should be collected into loosely packed piles and
Planting Material and Spacing Needed
The quantity of rhizome material needed per hill is large for
Florigraze peanuts. A square foot (930 cm2) or more of rhizome mat
should be planted in each hill when sufficient plant material is
available. Rhizome mats one foot square or larger can be planted in
hills up to six feet (1.8 m) apart in every direction. However it is best
to gently separate the mat into four pieces and plant in hills 3 feet
(0.9 m) apart. Using either method, one acre (0.4 hectare) of well-
established Florigraze can plant 36 acres (14.4 hectares). This
F;.,1,1 1. Rhizomateous mat piece from a well-established stand of Flori-
graze rhizoma peanut.
Figure 2. Digging Florigraze peanut rhizomes with one-row potato digger.
Figure 3. Digging Florigraze peanut rhizomes with a two-row potato
Figure 4. Digging Florigraze peanut rhizomes with a bermudagrass sprig
assumes that all of the original acre is dug for rhizomes and cut into
1 square foot (30 x 30 cm) mats and each mat is distributed over 36
square feet (3.4 m2) of soil. Rhizomes will probably be sold by
volume. To have a planting rate similar to the preceding example, it
will take 25 to 40 bushels (0.9 to 1.4 m3) of rhizomes per acre (0.4
ha), depending upon the size of rhizomes. The smaller the diameters
of rhizomes, the lower the planting rate needed per acre or hectare.
In the early years following the release of Florigraze, it will be
necessary to plant the maximum acreage with the minimum
amount of rhizomes. This can be done by dividing the rhizome mat
into individual pieces about 12 inches (30 cm) long and planting one
rhizome piece per hill. This should only be done on land without any
perennial grass and with excellent weed control. Complete cover-
age the first year will generally not occur with this method of
planting. Hills should be no further than 36 inches (91 cm) apart in
any direction. Using this method, 6 to 10 bushels (0.2 to 0.35 m:) of
rhizomes will be needed to plant 1 acre (0.4 ha).
Time to Plant
Florigraze should be planted during the winter months (Decem-
ber, January, February, and early March), when the top growth is
either dead or dormant. The rhizomes are more resistant to drying
out then than during the warm season, and soil moisture need not be
optimum. Florigraze planted during winter spreads from rhizomes
which develop in late summer and fall of the planting year. If
planting is delayed until the summer, limited new rhizome devel-
opment occurs the first fall and little spread occurs until the second
year. Winter-planted Florigraze develops a good root system, and
first-season plantings have survived long spring droughts.
When weeds are palatable, it is possible to rotationally graze
them down during the first season; however, grazing also removes
peanut top growth and limits first season coverage. No grazing
should take place until the peanuts are over 4 inches (10 cm) tall.
Livestock should be removed as soon as weeds are eaten down.
Livestock should not be left on peanuts longer than 10 days in each
grazing cycle the first season, and a rest period of at least 6 weeks
should occur before grazing again.
Rhizoma Peanut-Grass Mixtures
The seed or vegetative material of a grass can be planted between
the peanut rows during the summer following winter planting.
However, care should be taken to avoid disturbing the peanut plants
in planting grass. Nitrogen fertilizer should not be applied to grass
on soils where grass will survive without. On other soils, small
amounts of N up to 30 pounds per acre (33.6 kg/ha) could be applied
to grass but not close to the peanuts. The ideal practice is to keep the
grass alive with minimum competition for the peanut until the
peanut is established and furnishing nitrogen for the grass.
The planting of Florigraze in established perennial grass sods is
not recommended, as competition from the grass delays establish-
ment. However, if the perennial grass sod is plowed under in the fall
and disced twice at several week intervals prior to planting Flori-
graze, the grass will usually recover enough during the summer to
make a satisfactory mixture with the peanut. In this situation, it is
very important not to apply any nitrogenous fertilizer. It is also
desirable to plant Florigraze hills close together (not over 3 feet (91
cm) apart) in anticipation of reduced spread of the peanut the first
In mid-April 1976, two rows 36 inches (91 cm) apart of corn,
soybeans, sorghum, southern peas, and peanuts were planted
between rows 9 ft. (2.7 m) apart of Florigraze established the last
week of February, 1976. In the spring of 1977, the Florigraze devel-
opment was as good where crops were grown as on the control area
where no crops were planted. However, the Florigraze spread about
2' feet (76 cm) to each side of the rows from original hills, so a large
strip in middle between peanut rows was not covered by peanut at
the end of the first season. Growing of row crops in middles between
Florigraze peanut rows offers economic return during the estab-
lishment year. Research is continuing to see if crops can be grown
between narrower rows of Florigraze during the first establish-
The rhizomes should be planted as soon as possible after digging
for the strongest development of new plants; however, loosely
packed rhizomes have sprouted satisfactorily after storing under a
tarpaulin for 7 days in winter, with occasional wetting to prevent
Planting requires several steps. The first is to prepare a furrow
wide and deep enough to accept the rhizome piece or mat and to
allow for complete coverage with 2 or 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) of soil in
heavy soils and 3 to 31 inches (7.5 to 9 cm) in sandy soils. When the
rhizome is placed in the furrow, a granular or liquid peanut inocu-
lant should be applied either under or over the rhizome mat and
quickly covered with soil. Ideally, all these planting steps will be
done with a planter which will open the furrow, apply inoculant,
place rhizome mat, and cover in one operation.
Rhizomes dug with a bermudagrass sprig digger can be planted
with the bermudagrass sprig planter. In a preliminary study,
planting rhizomes in 20 inch (51 cm) rows at rate of 40 bushels (1.4
m3) of rhizomes per acre (0.4 ha) with the sprig planter was success-
ful in giving good first season coverage where weeds were controlled.
Weed control is essential during the first season, if maximum
coverage from the planting is to be obtained. Where spacing of rows
permits, it may be desirable to cultivate between peanut rows. Care
must be taken not to hit peanut plants with cultivation equipment, as
this breaks off the developing new roots and loosens the rhizome
mat in the soil. No cultivation should be made after July of the
planting year, as the new rhizomes beginning to develop from the
peanut hills may be damaged.
I Research indicates that most herbicides which are effective and
recommended for common peanut will also be useful for weed con-
trol in establishing and maintaining rhizoma peanuts. Particularly
helpful to establishment of Florigraze has been the pre-plant incor-
poration of benefin (BALAN), trifluralin (TREFLAN), vernolate
(VERNAM), and tank-mixtures of benefin and vernolate and tri-
fluralin and vernolate herbicides. A tank-mixture of alachlor (LASSO)
and dinoseb (PREMERGE) applied at first emergence of rhizoma
peanut shoots in spring has controlled both winter weeds and spring
weeds. Bentazon (BASAGRAN) and 2,4 DB have been applied over
top of rhizoma peanut throughout the growing season. Because
rhizoma peanut is a new crop starting off with low acreage no
herbicides have been labeled for specific use on rhizoma peanut.
Hopefully this situation will be rectified in the future so that herbi-
cides can be legally used on rhizoma peanut. Once a herbicide is
approved for use on rhizoma peanut, one should read the label
carefully to see limitations on use of forage for grazing, silage, or
Normally some weeds become established and may shade the
developing peanut hills. When this happens, mow the tall weeds just
above the peanut canopy with a mower. Do not remove any peanut
top growth if you expect maximum coverage by the end of the first
When Florigraze was first planted in 1962, it established more
rapidly than other rhizoma peanut selections planted at the same
time. In 1965, Florigraze peanut was planted in a nursery with Arb
and Arblick and a number of other rhizoma peanut introductions.
The most productive of these are listed in Table 1. By the spring of
1967, the Florigraze plots were superior in coverage to all other
rhizoma peanuts. The nursery plots were harvested twice a year for
hay for four years beginning in 1967 (Table 1). During the first two
harvest seasons the Florigraze plots were quite superior in hay
yields to other accessions (Table 1). The more rapid establishment of
Florigraze was a factor in this early superiority. During the last two
seasons, Florigraze yields were equal to or better than the other
peanut cultivars and accessions. Over the four-year period, the hay
yield of Florigraze averaged 0.7 tons per acre (1570 kg/ha) per year
greater than the next closest peanut cultivar or introduction.
In May 1966, another cultivar trial comparing Arb, Arblick, and
Florigraze was planted at Gainesville. Because of the slow estab-
lishment of Arb and Arblick, no hay cuttings were made until 1970,
Table 1. Hay yields of rhizoma peanut cultivars and accessions at Gaines-
ville over 4 growing seasons during 1967 to 1971.
Dry Matter Yield
or P. I. 4-year
Number 1967 1968 1970 1971 average
Florigrazet 3.2 5.9 5.2 4.1 4.6 A*
Arbt 2.1 4.1 5.3 4.2 3.9 B
Arblickt .6 2.1 3.3 3.3 2.3 C
262794 1.8 3.4 5.4 3.3 3.5
262818 1.0 3.4 3.7 4.3 3.1
262819 1.7 3.5 3.9 2.6 3.0
262828 1.5 3.3 3.8 3.0 2.9
262832 2.1 3.1 3.2 3.0 2.9
262840 1.0 3.2 5.2 3.9 3.3
Overall average 1.7 3.6 4.4 3.5 3.4
Data in this table were taken from Prine (11).
* Averages of replicated cultivars not marked with same large letter are signifi-
cantly different at the .05 level.
t Data for these accessions are averages of duplicate plots. Other yields are for
t To convert tons per acre (tons/A) to metric tons per hectare (t/ha), multiply by
though Florigraze plots could have been cut for hay in 1968. A
'Pensacola' bahiagrass sod had been plowed under prior to planting.
Consequently the bahiagrass volunteered from seed and vegetative
sprouts and formed a mixture with the peanuts. The Florigraze
peanut produced the highest hay yield each season and also had
highest content of legume in hay (Table 2). The rapid establishment
of Florigraze was associated with a reduced number of bahiagrass
plants surviving on these plots. All peanut cultivars eventually
dominated over the bahiagrass in the mixture. The yields of indivi-
dual cuttings of hay for three harvests in each of the years 1974 and
1975 are presented in Table 3.
In 1970, Florigraze was planted with Arb and Arblick at the Jay
Agricultural Research Center and at the SCS Plant Materials Cen-
ter at Brooksville. Hay yields and other data for Florigraze com-
pared with Arb and Arblick at Jay are presented in Table 4 and at
Brooksville in Table 5. Florigraze was superior to Arb and Arblick
at both locations.
Table 2. The hay yields of three rhizoma peanut cultivars growing in mix-
ture with Pensacola bahiagrass on Kanapha fine sand at Gaines-
ville, Florida during 5 growing seasons.
Pensacola bahiagrass Growing Season 5-Season
in mixture with 1970 1972 1973 1974 1975 Average
---------------dry matter yield (tons/A)t-----------------
Florigraze 4.7 a* 3.2 a 5.5 a 5.3 a 5.0 a 4.7 A*
Arb 3.4 b 2.5 c 3.2 c 3.7 b 4.2 b 3.4 B
Arblick 3.6 b 2.8 b 3.8 b 3.7 b 4.8 ab 3.8 B
---------- estimated % peanut forage in hay------------
Florigraze 90 90 90 90 90 90
Arb 25 60 60 80 70 60
Arblick 25 70 55 65 80 60
Cuttings per season 2 2 2 3 3 -
* Season and 5-season yield averages not marked with same letter are significantly
different at the .05 level.
t To convert tons per acre to metric tons per hectare (t/ha), multiply tons/A by 2.24.
HAY DIGESTIBILITY AND PROTEIN CONTENT
Florigraze was higher than Arb and Arblick in percent in vitro
organic matter digestion (IVOMD) and percent protein over a four-
year period at Gainesville (Table 6). Florigraze forage was also
Table 3. Production of hay, protein content, and in vitro digestion of three rhizoma peanuts
bahiagrass for different cuttings over a two-year period at Gainesville, Florida.
in mixture with Pensacola
Cultivar June 20 Aug 12 Oct 20 Season total June 18 Aug 22 Oct 14 Season total
harvest harvest harvest harvest harvest harvest
------------------------------------ dry matter yield (lb/A)-------------------------------------------
Florigraze 4210 4160 2050 10420 a* 4560 3930 1510 10,000 a*
Arb 2580 3370 1540 7490 b 3210 3710 1410 8330 b
Arblick 2840 3450 1160 7450 b 3880 3170 1610 8660 ab
Bahiagrass only 1000 590 580 2170 c 750 970 360 2080 c
----------------------------------------% crude proteint---------------------------------------
Florigraze 15.8 18.2 19.1 12.4 12.2 18.3
Arb 15.2 15.6 17.7 -12.1 11.3 15.2
Arblick 15.7 15.3 12.8 -11.1 9.8 14.0
Bahiagrass only 7.9 10.0 12.5 -9.0 7.7 11.5
----------------------------------- % IVOMDt --------------------------------------------
Florigraze 66.7 63.7 71.7 56.1 57.1 67.1
Arb 63.2 55.4 67.8 54.5 53.9 64.2
Arblick 62.0 56.7 59.6 59.9 52.7 57.2
Bahiagrass only 47.4 45.9 51.2 41.5 43.1 42.2
This experiment was fertilized annually in March with 500 pounds per acre of 0-10-20 (N-P2Os- K20) fertilizer. No extra N was applied to
bahiagrass only plots.
t Dry matter yields are the mean of 6 replications, while % crude protein and % IVOMD (% of organic matter in sample digested) are the mean
of 3 of the 6 replications.
t To convert lb/A to kg/ha, multiply lb/A by 1.12.
Season total values for the same measurement not marked by the same letter are significantly different at the .05 level.
Table 4. The dry matter yield, protein content, and in vitro digestion of
three rhizoma peanut cultivars at Jay Agricultural Research Cen-
ter over five growing seasons.
Growing Season 5-Season
1972 1973 1974 1975 1976
---------------dry matter hay yield (tons/A)t----------------
Florigraze 3.0 2.6 3.8 3.8 4.0 3.4
Arb 1.2 0.9 1.4 1.4 0.9 1.2
Arblick 1.3 1.2 1.9 2.5 2.7 1.9
------------------------% crude protein---------------------
Florigraze 16.4 13.3 14.0 14.6
Arb 11.2 8.9 10.3 10.1
Arblick 14.7 13.3 10.8 12.9
--------------------------- % IVOMD ------------------------
Florigraze 69.2 64.4 66.1 66.6
Arb 62.4 58.0 59.9 60.1
Arblick 64.2 64.5 62.2 63.7
This experiment was planted in August 1970 and was cut twice annually as hay.
t To convert tons per acre (tons/A) to metric tons per hectare (t/ha), multiply tons/A
t % IVOMD = % of organic matter in sample which was digested.
Table 5. Hay yield of three rhizoma peanut cultivars at the SCS Plant
Materials Center at Brooksville for three years.
Dry Matter Yield
Cultivarst 1973 1974 1975 3-year
Florigraze 4.0 2.0 2.5 2.8
Arblick 2.5 2.8 2.3 2.5
Arb 2.6 2.4 1.8 2.3
t Peanuts were planted July 31 and August 1, 1969, and were all well established at
initiation of harvesting. Fertilizer rate was 1000 lb/A (1120 kg/ha) of 0-10-20
fertilizer annually in split application.
$ To convert tons per acre (tons/A) to metric tons per hectare (t/ha) multiply tons/A
Table 6. The average annual organic matter digestibility and protein and
mineral contents of hay from three rhizoma peanut cultivars over
four seasons at Gainesville, Florida.
Constituent unit Arb Arblick Florigraze
IVOMD % 60.8 57.0 62.2
Digestible OM produced lb/A 3860 2230 4390
Protein content % 12.8 13.5 14.0
Protein produced lb/A 1000 630 1290
N content % 2.05 2.16 2.24
N in hay lb/A 160 100 206
P content % .30 .29 .28
P in hay lb/A 24 14 26
K content % 2.17 2.13 1.74
K in hay lb/A 180 110 125
Ca content % 1.42 1.34 1.52
Ca in hay lb/A 115 66 131
Mg content % .35 .29 .47
Mg in hay lb/A 30 15 43
Data in this table were taken from Prine(11). Average seasonal hay yields of each
cultivar cut twice annually during each of 4 seasons is given in Table 1.
$ To convert lb/A to kg/ha, multiply lb/A by 1.12.
higher than Arb and Arblick forage in percentage IVOMD and
protein during the three seasons at Jay ARC (Table 4) and for all
three cuttings during two seasons at Gainesville (Table 3).
The protein content of Florigraze hay has ranged from 12% to
19%, and IVOMD percentages from 55% to 72% in hay cut after six
weeks or more of regrowth. When IVOMD values have been below
60%, it was traceable to extremely mature peanut plants and/or to
peanuts being in mixture with mature grass or weeds. Young per-
ennial peanut forage, such as would be available to grazing animals,
should be even higher in protein and IVOMD percentage than was
found for hay.
Florigraze and 'Florunner' (common) peanut hays were chopped
and fed to sheep for the determination of quality in terms of volun-
tary intake and digestion (Table 7). These hays were made after 60
days or more of regrowth, because it requires at least this long for
Florigraze to become tall enough to cut for hay using conventional
machinery. Digestion of organic matter (OM) was relatively high in
all peanut hays in both years and compared favorably with that of
younger 'Florida 66' alfalfa hay in previous trials.
Voluntary intakes of Florigraze hays were high enough to sug-
gest no problems with palatability. Even though Florigraze hays
Table 7. Organic matter digestibility and intake of total digestible organic
matter by sheep fed alfalfa and common and rhizoma peanut hays.
Body Organic Matter
Hays Digestibility Intake
lb % --------(g/d)/kg --------
(60 days old) 88 66.8 66.9 46.9
(over 4 months old) 84 62.1 57.9 35.9
cut July 25
Florunner common peanut
(108 days after seeding) 90 68.5 75.3 51.6
Florunner common peanut
(mature seed stage 130
days after seeding) 93 69.7 74.9 52.2
(cut July 1, 62 days old) 95 68.2 89.4 61.0
(cut September 9, 70
days old) 95 64.9 82.5 53.6
Florida 66 alfalfat
4.5 weeks old 63.7 70.4 81.6 90.7 53.6 60.5
6 weeks old 62.5 68.1 86.0 87.7 46.7 58.0
t Data on alfalfa taken from Tiharuhondi (14).
$ Grams of organic matter per day for metabolic body weight in kilograms.
had a lower intake than Florunner hays in the 1975 trial, the intake
of digested OM (an estimate of Total Digestible Nutrients) was well
above the maintenance requirement. Excellent intakes were re-
corded for 1976 Florigraze hays with digestible OM intakes equal to
1.8 to 2.0 times the maintenance requirement. These digested OM
intake values compare favorably to those of 4.5 week-old Florida 66
alfalfa (1.8 to 2.1) and are superior to those of 4- to 6-week-old
'Suwannee' bermudagrass (1.3 to 1.8) and 'Pangola' digitgrass (1.3
to 1.7) in similar studies (8 and 14).
MANAGEMENT FOR HA Y
Florigraze can be used in a pure stand or in a mixture with
grasses for hay. Established rhizoma peanuts grow very well with
improved bahiagrasses, digitgrasses and bermudagrasses. Flori-
graze cut twice a year for hay makes a satisfactory quality hay.
However, cutting three times (particularly in Peninsular Florida)
will give improved quality and, in most years, higher yields than
just two harvests.
Grasses need to be cut four or more times per year for the best
quality hay, so if cut only two or three times as recommended for
rhizoma peanut-grass mixtures, the grass portion of the hay is very
poor quality. For this reason, and also because Florigraze furnishes
the nitrogen, Florigraze should make up 75% or more of a mixture
grown for hay. The best quality hay would come from pure (100%)
stands of Florigraze. However, in actual practice it is difficult to
grow rhizoma peanuts without some contamination by volunteer
annual and/or perennial grasses. The last hay harvest of a season
may be critical in maintaining the vigor of the Florigraze stand. If a
crop of hay is cut, and regrowth takes place for only a short period of
time and is killed by frost before food reserves are restored in the
rhizomes, the plant will be weakened. This problem has not yet been
researched, but if the last cutting can not be made 5 or 6 weeks
before killing frost is expected, it may be best to wait until frost
occurs and then cut hay. Frost-killed top growth can also be grazed.
Rhizoma peanuts excel for hay production, as they are high in dry
matter content. At the hay stage, it commonly exceeds 25% dry
matter. This means rapid drying and early baling of hay. However,
the hay is high quality, and when rained upon, rots rapidly. Manag-
ers may decide to both cut hay and graze during the same season..
The persistence, high quality, and yield of Florigraze peanut
makes it a potential crop for dehydrating as a high quality hay or
leaf meal. It should compare very favorably to alfalfa hay and leaf
meals and should be useful for the same purposes. Leaf meal made
from Florigraze has high xanthophyll levels and was as effective as
alfalfa leaf meal in maintaining yolk color of eggs (3). The pelleting
characteristics of Florigraze hay have not been studied.
Because of the limited number of plantings of Florigraze peanut,
grazing observations have been limited. A Florigraze-Pensacola
bahiagrass pasture was closely grazed by cattle for six years, and
the Florigraze stand maintained and even increased. No N was
applied to this pasture. Florigraze-Pensacola bahiagrass pastures
have been grazed successfully by horses at the Horse Research Unit
near Ocala for two seasons.
Rhizoma peanuts, including Florigraze, are surviving in a plot
area which became lawn in 1964 and which has been mown since
then every 2 weeks during the summer season. Thus, it appears that
close defoliation or heavy grazing will not eliminate established
Florigraze from a stand. Under such conditions, the Florigraze
goes into a rosette type growth, and leaves are oriented flat on the
ground, where they cannot easily be removed by grazing. This is a
survival phase and not a rapid growth stage; consequently, rhizoma
peanut maintained under such grazing pressure produces low for-
When Florigraze is not overgrazed, it assumes an erect habit of
growth and is easily consumed by grazing animals. If Florigraze is
to fix nitrogen for grass and make a substantial amount of forage, it
must have enough top growth for leaves to adequately intercept
incoming light. This means that continuous grazing should be at a
stocking rate low enough for peanut growth to maintain an average
height of at least 4 inches (10 cm). Rotationally-grazed Florigraze
should not be grazed longer than 10 days, and a 3-week or longer
rest period should proceed the next grazing period.
If another plant cuts off the sunlight normally received by the
peanut, then the peanut plant is weakened in proportion to amount
of shading. The taller plant, be it weed or companion forage grass,
must be removed by mowing or grazing if the peanut is to be
maintained in the most vigorous condition. However, well-estab-
lished rhizoma peanut plants can survive under shading for long
periods of time. Undergrazing of a Florigraze-grass mixture, par-
ticularly when nitrogen fertilization has been added to stimulate
the grass, may reduce the peanut in established stands. Similarly
tall weeds can damage stands.
Mixtures of Florigraze with bahiagrass, digitgrass, and bermu-
dagrass have grown well with no nitrogen fertilizer added. In these
mixtures the grass is dependent upon the peanut for most of its
nitrogen. The grass gets its nitrogen from the breakdown of peanut
plant material and from manure and urine of livestock grazing the
mixture. Because the productivity of a peanut-grass sod depends
upon the nitrogen-fixing properties of the peanut, the peanut should
be the dominant plant in the sod and should make up two-thirds or
more of the stand.
Cattle readily eat Florigraze forage, but usually do not select the
peanut to the exclusion of the grass. There is a tendency, where
density of peanut stands vary, to graze both grass and peanuts first
in the areas where the peanut is the thickest. For this reason,
uniform stands of peanut in grass mixtures are desirable.
Pure stands of Florigraze peanut could be planted in small pas-
tures adjacent to larger perennial grass pastures. Suitable openings
through the fence would allow calves to supplement their diet by
grazing the better quality peanut pasture from late April to early
October. Such creep pastures should be near areas where the cattle
naturally congregate, such as a watering tank or shade. Creep
grazing of the summer annual legumes, hairy indigo (Indigofera
hirsuta L.) and joint vetch (Aeschynomene americana L.), has prof-
itably increased both daily gains and total weight of calves where
their mothers were grazing Pensacola bahiagrass (9). Florigraze
should give similar benefits without the need for annual establish-
Florigraze grows better in the spring if the top growth of the
previous season is grazed, mown closely, or burned off. Leaf disease
in spring is usually associated with dense dead topgrowth remain-
ing from the previous season. When the peanut top growth is killed
by frost, the dead top growth can be burned off without damage to
the peanut, if burned before new shoots emerge after a killing frost.
Cool-season weeds often grow in the rhizoma peanut sod during
winter and can compete with the peanut during early spring. It will
be possible to control these weeds with herbicides when approved.
Some control of winter weeds is possible by close mowing of weeds
in spring before peanut is high enough to be damaged by the
FERTILIZATION AND LIMING
ESTABLISHED RHIZOMA PEANUTS
The rhizoma peanut is an excellent competitor for nutrients
available in the soil and will give good growth on rather infertile
soils. The amount of fertilization depends upon the type of use and
amount of forage produced. If the peanut is used as pasture, where
nutrients are recycled, annual applications of 300 to 500 pounds per
acre (340 to 560 kg/ha) of 0-10-20 or 0-10-30 (N-P205-K20) fertilizer
should maintain the peanut or peanut-grass mixtures.
When Florigraze is used as a hay plant, the fertilizer amounts
applied should at least replace the amounts of nutrients removed in
the hay. Table 8 gives an estimate of the fertilizer nutrients needed
to replace nutrients in different quantities of hay. For example, a
6-ton (13.4 t/ha) crop will contain 34 pounds/acre (38 kg/ha) P and
210 pounds/acre (235 kg/ha) of K. The amount of P and K in 6 tons
(13.4 t/ha) of hay is equal to about 850 pounds per acre (950 kg/ha) of
0-10-30 (N-P205-K20) fertilizer. Sulfur needs would be roughly
equivalent to P. Applications of fertilizer in March and in July are
recommended for hay production. Continuous high hay yields will
require heavy fertilization, though peanut may often make excel-
lent hay yields for several years on residual soil fertility.
The nitrogen need of Florigraze is supplied by nitrogen-fixing
Rhizobium bacteria; hence the recommendation to inoculate new
peanut plantings with Rhizobium peanut inoculant. Florida soils
normally contain native Rhizobium bacteria which will infect rhi-
zoma peanuts, but natural inoculation is often inadequate in the
planting season for maximum growth. Nitrogen fertilization has
reduced both the nodulation and spread of establishing Florigraze
and reduced the amount of peanut in a Florigraze mixture (1);
nitrogenous fertilizer therefore should not be applied to Florigraze,
Table 8. Amount of nutrients in different yields of Florigraze peanut hay.
Nutrients in Oven-Dry Hay
or Nutrient ----------------tons/acret hay yield----------------
Compound Contentt 1 2 3 4 5 6
% ------------ b/At of nutrient------------------
N 2.24 45 90 134 180 224 269
P .28 6 11 17 22 28 34
P205 .64 14 25 39 50 64 78
K 1.74 35 70 104 139 174 209
K2O 2.10 42 84 125 168 209 251
Ca 1.52 30 61 91 122 152 182
Mg .47 9 19 28 38 47 56
t Based on data from Table 6.
$ To convert tons per acre (tons/A) to metric tons per hectare (t/ha), multiply tons/A
by 2.24; to convert lb/A to kg/ha, multiply lb/A by 1.12.
either alone or in mixtures. The Ca and Mg content of peanut hay is
high (Table 5), so dolomitic limestone will need to be applied every
few years. It would take about 840 pounds (940 kg/ha) of dolomitic
limestone containing 54% CaC02 and 44% MgC02 to replace both Ca
and Mg contained in 6 tons (13.4 t/ha) of hay. Adequate quantities of
all essential minor elements must be supplied for good peanut
growth. If the minor element status of the soil is unknown, applica-
tion of a complete minor element mixture, such as FTE 503, is
Insect pests have not been troublesome on Florigraze rhizoma
peanut. Two leaf spot diseases caused by Phyllosticta and Stemply-
lium fungi have been identified by Freeman (5), but no long term or
serious damage has been observed from these or other diseases.
Also, no buildup of pathogenic nematodes has been observed in
rhizoma peanuts. The relative freedom of Florigraze peanuts from
pests may be due to the relatively small acreages involved. Greater
pest damage is expected when acreage of Florigraze increases and
the crop comes into contact with a greater variety of pests.
Rhizoma peanuts can be grown alone or in mixture with grasses
as a ground cover in sunny and lightly shaded areas having low
traffic. The bright flowers of rhizoma peanuts add interesting con-
trast to the green foliage. Florigraze does not flower as profusely as
Arb and Arblick when used for ground cover. The peanut can be
allowed to grow tall or can be cut frequently and maintained as a
lawn. When managed as a lawn, rhizoma peanuts probably should
not be cut closer than 2 inches (5 cm) above the soil.
Florigraze and similar rhizoma peanuts offer promise of beauti-
fying the road shoulders along highways where good soil drainage is
available. The peanut should be useful in reducing erosion, both by
forming a dense rhizomatous sod and in furnishing nitrogen for
perennial grasses in mixture with the peanut. The relatively short,
dense growth of rhizoma peanuts would not require frequent
Good nitrogen-fixing ability and a low dense cover make Flori-
graze and other rhizoma peanuts potential cover crops for use in
orchards and vineyards not requiring a clean soil surface. Rhizoma
peanuts have been planted between rows of pecans, oranges,
peaches, and grapes. The benefits of planting peanuts in this
manner have not quantified yet. Maximum benefits should occur if
peanuts are planted at the same time as the fruit crop. The peanut
should compete very little with fruit crop during the establishment
year and provide free nitrogen and weed protection in following
years. The peanut can be mown as necessary. Peanuts could be cut
for hay during the time that fruit or nut crop plants have only a
small canopy, as the canopy is developing; the peanut would be
restricted to areas not densely shaded.
Because of its long establishment period, rhizoma peanut will
usually not be destroyed to plant another crop until after many
years growth. However, when an established peanut sod is plowed
or destroyed it can furnish up to 425 pounds of N per acre to
following crops (3).
Ryegrass and other cool-season annual crops which can germi-
nate with only shallow soil surface scarification can be planted in
rhizoma peanut sod. Care should be taken that peanut rhizome
system is not damaged in planting. How much damage such a
cool-season crop causes to the peanut in the following season has not
been determined. Any damage to peanut should be minimized if the
winter crop is not allowed to make dense, tall growth in the spring
period. Grazing, mowing for hay, or harvesting for silage are possi-
ble methods of controlling the winter crop in spring to minimize
damage to the peanuts.
Florigraze and other rhizoma peanuts should not become serious
weedy pests. The peanut grows on its original planting site unless
physically moved to other sites. The rhizoma peanut is easily killed
by plowing the soil with moldboard plow and harrowing once or
twice at intervals to kill sprouting shoots. Breaking up the rhizome
mat greatly weakens the peanuts, and developing shoots are
reduced in number and vigor. Consequently rhizoma peanuts are
much easier to eradicate than rhizomatous grasses such as bermuda-
Distribution of Florigraze rhizome planting material to commer-
cial rhizome growers was made in February 1979 and January and
February, 1980 and will continue in January and February, 1981.
Florigraze rhizomes should become commercially available in win-
ter of 1981-82 from rhizome growers that received planting mate-
rial in February 1979 and January and February, 1980. Anyone
desiring to obtain foundation stock of Florigraze to produce rhi-
zomes or needing lists of commercial rhizome growers who have
received foundation stock should contact:
Florida Foundation Seed Producers Inc.
P. O. Box 309
Greenwood, FL 32443
Phone (904) 594-4721
1. Adjei, M. B., and G. M. Prine. 1976. Establishment of perennial pea-
nuts (Arachis glabrata Benth.). Soil and Crop Sci. Soc. Fla. Proc.
2. Blickensderfer, C. B., H. J. Haynsworth, and R. D. Roush. 1964. Wild
peanut is promising forage legume for Florida. Crops and Soils
3. Breman, J. W. 1980. Forage growth and quality of Florigraze peren-
nial peanut (Arachis glabrata Benth.) under six clipping regimes.
Masters Thesis, Univ. of Fla. Agronomy Dept. 59 p.
4. Damron, B. L. 1979. Unpublished data. Univ. of Fla. Poultry Sci. Dept.
5. Freeman, T. E. 1975. Personal communication. Univ. of Fla. Plant
6. Gregory, W. C., M. P. Gregory, A. Krapovickas, B. W. Smith, and J. A.
Yarbrough. 1973. Structures and Genetic Resources of Peanuts. In
Peanut Culture and Uses. American Peanut Res. and Ed. Assoc. Inc.,
Stillwater, Oklahoma. Pp. 47-133.
7. Hermann, F. J. 1954. A synopsis of the genus Arachis. USDA Agricul-
tural Monograph No. 19. 26 p.
8. Moore, J. E., and O. C. Ruelke. 1978. Composition and quality of'Flor-
ida 66' alfalfa, 'Suwannee' bermudagrass and 'Pangola' digitgrass
hays. The Fla. Beef Cattle Res. Rept. 1978. Pp. 61-64.
9. Ocumpaugh, W. R. 1979. Creep grazing for calves. Proc. 28th Annual
Beef Cattle Shortcourse. Univ. of Fla., Animal Sci. Dept. Pp. 159-165.
10. Prine, G. M. 1964. Forage possibilities in the genus Arachis. Soil and
Crop Sci. Soc. Fla. Proc. 24:187-196.
11. Prine, G. M. 1973. Perennial peanuts for forage. Soil and Crop Sci. Soc.
Fla. Proc. 32:33-35.
12. Williams, M. 1973. Perennial peanuts look good for forage. Sunshine
State Agric. Res. Rep. 18(4-5): 14-16.
13. Powell, John. 1967. Personal communication. SCS Plant Materials
Center, Americus, Ga.
14. Tiharuhondi. E. R. 1974. Influence of management on herbage yield,
persistence, carbohydrate reserves and nutritive value of 'African' and
'Florida 66' alfalfa (Medicago stira L.). Ph.D. Dissertation, Univ. of
Fla. Agronomy Dept. 183 p.
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