Scientific name: Desmodium intortum
Common names: Green leaf desmodium, Kuru vine, Beggar lice, Pega pega
Variety: Green leaf
Seeding rate: 0.3 – 0.5 g/m² (3 – 5 kg/ha)
Growth cycle: Perennial
Growth season: Warm season
Green leaf desmodium is a perennial tropical legume with good production in frost-free, high rainfall areas. It has a trailing and climbing growth form with stems 1.5 – 7.5 m long. Leaves are trifoliate and rounded. It has deep pink flowers and narrow segmented pods that break up when mature and is covered with hooked hairs. Seeds are light brown with olive green to cream in colour. It has a deep taproot and can form roots at leaf nodes. Green leaf desmodium originates from Meso-America, the Caribbean and South America. It is used as a ground cover, to improve soil fertility, in a cut and carry system and as pasture, hay and silage. It combines well with subtropical grasses such as White buffalo grass (Panicum maximum) and Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum).