When breeding temperate forage species is investigated, some attributes such as herbage accumulation and seasonal growth patterns have to be considered. To modify some of these traits, knowledge of the detailed process might be useful. In order to evaluate seasonal growth of contrasting white clover populations an experiment was carried out. Treatments were five cultivars and three local populations collected in Argentina. Weekly measures were taken during each season to calculate leaf appearance and flower appearance rates, stolon growing rate and dry matter (DM) net accumulation. Different germplasm of this species have different mechanisms for DM accumulation. Leaf size, more than leaf appearance rate, was the variable with most differences among germplasm and mostly related to dry matter accumulation. During spring and summer, inflorescences production had important effects on growing stolon rate, and differences among germplasm were evident. Some local populations showed favourable attributes that could be useful for breeding.
Trifolium repens L.; germplasm; leaves; inflorescences; stolon growth