Caatinga Stylo

Stylosanthes seabrana

  • Long term perennial legume
  • Early flowering, and prolific seeding
  • Excellent drought tolerance
  • High quality grazing attributes
  • Persists in a wide range of soil types
  • Tolerates moderate frosts
  • Sowing Rate 4-6kg/ha as a sole pasture & 2-4kg/ha as a mixed pasture
  • Growing Seasons Autumn, Spring, Summer
  • Grazing Seasons Spring, Summer, Autumn
  • Grazing Method Rotational Grazed – Long Term
  • Rainfall Minimum 500mm per annum
  • Pasture Life 2 - 5 years

High production and excellent grazing across a range of soil types

Caatinga stylo is a perennial legume mix of Unica and Primar stylos. Extremely drought tolerant, originating from an environment that experiences a long dry season and irregular rainfall. Caatinga stylo has shown persistence across a wide range of soil types over the past 20 years and is an effective weed suppressant on lighter soil types. Caatinga is suited to heavy grazing situations and set stocking after establishment. 


Caatinga stylo can adapt to a wide range of soil types particularly heavy clays, but also clay-loams. Caatinga stylo prefers more fertile soils but can grow in soils that are fairly low in phosphorus and calcium. An application of 10‒20 kg/ha P (50-100kg/ha DAP) at planting and as a maintenance fertiliser every 2 or 3 years after establishment will maintain available soil P levels and can improve both plant and animal performance. Consider soil testing before planting to check molybdenum and sulphur levels, key nutrients for legumes.


Caatinga stylo originates from an environment typical of a long dry season and irregular rainfall. Caatinga is well-adapted to tropical and subtropical environments with 500‒1,000 mm summer-dominant rainfall, growing best in years with a long growing season. Caatinga is very drought tolerant but it must be noted it performs poorly in seasonally flooded soils.

Sowing and establishment

Caatinga stylo pasture seed is best sown into a well-cultivated, fallowed seedbed with good subsoil moisture and prior weed control. Caatinga pasture seed should be sown at 4-6kg/ha as a sole pasture and 2-4kg/ha in a pasture mix with grasses and planted no deeper than 1cm. For a successful establishment it’s important to establish Caatinga early before heat waves occur and always plant into good moisture. Young seedlings compete poorly with vigorous grasses in the first two years while Caatinga stylo is establishing, ensuring the correct sowing rates of grasses are used will allow Caatinga to establish successfully. Caatinga stylo has a highly specific inoculum requirement and doesn’t nodulate effectively with native strains of rhizobia

For information and sowing rates specific to your farming needs, contact your local PGG Wrightson Seeds Sales Agronomist here.

Agronomic performance

In good growing conditions, fertilised well and in pure swards, Caatinga stylo can produce over 13 tDM/ha during the growing season. Dry matter yields can be higher than those of similar stylo species and cultivars. Caatinga also competes effectively against and can suppress weeds such as Heliotrope, a major problem in cultivation on lighter soils. Caatinga can increase overall feed value of pasture by providing nitrogen and can assist in improving soil fertility for succeeding crops. 

Grazing management

Caatinga stylo is suited to both continuous and rotational grazing systems and can form a strong sward density with grasses if established correctly. When a high leaf to stem ratio is maintained through good grazing management, a crude protein of 23% can be achieved. 

Animal production

Animal production of 0.6 kg/hd/day liveweight gain (LWG) for 10 months of the year has been seen from steers grazing a mixed Caatinga/Panicum coloratum/native grass pasture, equating to over 100 kg/ha/yr LWG for this period.  

Available with the Envirogro seed treatment process

The Envirogro seed treatment process gives PGG Wrightson Seeds tropical and subtropical seed varieties a better start. Envirogro is a tailored process, that cleans, treats, and improves the bare seed count and purity of tropical, subtropical grasses and legumes.

If the species requires, the bare pasture seed is taken through a process of de-hulling leaving only the caryopses, before being coated and cleaned again to achieve high purity. 

Envirogro benefits

  • Coated with insecticide, polymer and talc/lime
  • Improved seed flowability and ballistic properties
  • Improves seed quality and purity
  • Increases bare seed count for a higher return on investment
  • Produces a clean, uniform seed
  • Reduced risk of establishment failure 
  • Removes seed husk from the caryopsis (if required)
  • Removes weed seed, waste material and contaminants 

Click here for more information on the Envirogro seed treatment process


Minimum 500mm rainfall per annum unless irrigated

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