|Abstract or Summary
- Availability of evergreen forage plants during the
two dry seasons in arid central Somalia is very important.
Cordeauxia edulis is a multistemmed evergreen legume shrub
which grows in Central Somalia in plant communities
dominated by deciduous shrubs. There are two growth forms
of this plant. A form with small leaflets and a second
form with large leaflets were studied.
The objective of this study was to determine the
morphology, phenology, forage production, adaptation to
grazing, and forage quality of C. edulis. The study was
conducted in Central Somalia from April to September,
which is from the end of the dry season through the early
rainy-season to the beginning of the next dry season.
After the first rain of the season, vegetative and
floral buds, initiated the previous rainy period,
continued their development. Immature fruits, from the
previous rainy period which had been in diapause through
the dry season, continued and completed their development.
Leaflets, which had been curled during the dry season, and
The small-leaf form of C. edulis grows on Arinic
Aridic Paleoustalfs, while the large-leaf form grows on
Typic Ustipsmments Arenosols. Plant density increased
with distance from permanent water points and villages and
was related to decreased browsing intensity. Average
estimated forage production of C. edulis was 326 kg/ha,
335 kg/ha and 453 kg/ha for poor, good and excellent
condition classes, respectively. C. edu is sprouted
heavily from the base in response to degree of hedging,
but no decline in per plant production was found.
Leaves and twigs of g. edulis contained 54% moisture
during vegetative growth stages and approximately 28%
moisture during dormant stages. There was no difference
in crude protein content between the two growth forms
although crude protein decreased as the growing season
progressed. Crude protein was highest during vegetative
and flowering stages. Crude protein was 14% for the
small-leaf form and 12% for the large-leaf form at the
flowering stages. Calcium was higher for the small-leaf
form as compared to the large-leaf form. Phosphorus
content was sufficient to meet the minimum amount required
for normal cattle growth only during the early growth
phases. In vitro dry matter digestibility was low for
both growth forms due to high lignin and fiber content in
plant tissue. In vitro dry matter digestibility was 37%
during early vegetative growth but declined to
approximately 30% during all other stages. The small-leaf
form had higher lignin content compared to large-leaf form
for most phenological phases.