B1 Burgundy Bean

Macroptilium bracteatum

  • Highly palatable, quality/non-bloating summer perennial
  • Suitable for grazing or hay
  • Excellent nitrogen fixation
  • Good drought and cold tolerance
  • Suits a wide range of soils (sandy loams to heavy clays) and 550+mm rainfall
  • Strong seedling regeneration under good management
  • Suitable as a ley legume in rotation systems
    Download a copy of the B1 Burgundy Bean factsheet.


    B1 Burgundy is a legume from the Siratro family. Suitable for grazing or hay production, it displays good drought, grazing and cold tolerance for sub-tropical environments. B1 Burgundy establishes easily and also performs very well in combination with selected grasses. Burgundy Bean is suitable for a wide range of soil types from sandy loams to heavy clays. It has been selected for its tolerance of the cooler conditions of the region, its persistence under grazing for 2-3 years, high feed quality and its large seeds to assist with rapid establishment.


    Plant Characteristics:


    Growth habit - Burgundy Bean is easy to establish and can quickly provide a canopy suitable for grazing. It is a persistent perennial due to its robust root system and low growing crown, and can continually produce new shoots. It requires specific rhizobium for effective nodulation. Best regrowth can be obtained when the crop is fully established due to its capacity to store food reserves in the root.


    Uses - Suitable for both grazing or hay production. It is also suited to weed or erosion control. The crop offers an alternative to lucerne, butterfly peas or lablab as ley pasture or forage, and it performs very well in combination with selected grasses. The crop is readily eaten by cattle either alone or in mixes with grass, giving rapid live-weight, comparable to other legumes. Unlike lucerne, it does not cause bloat problem.


    Adaptation - Burgundy Bean is widely adapted and persistent with its ability to regenerate since pods can shatter and seedlings can readily develop from seed banks.


    Variety / Agronomy Management:

    Burgundy bean is a short- lived perennial. It will rely on seedling recruitment for ongoing stand persistence beyond 2-3 years, such that older stands will become a mix of older crowns and newer seedlings.

    Burgundy Bean will pod and seed readily, with pods that shatter and disperse seed up to several metres away from the parent plant. Due to its extreme palatability, management intervention may be required to ensure that the Burgundy Bean has periodic opportunities to set seed, particularly in younger stands.


    Sowing Rate:

    Despite the large seed, Burgundy Bean should ideally be sown shallow with good soil-seed contact. Establishment of surface sown seed may not be as effective.


    Seed should be planted when soil temperatures exceed 17 degrees C. Care should be taken not to plant in the hottest summer weather. Recommended planting rates for AgriCOTE B1 Burgundy Bean are:

    • Alone: 3-5Kg per Hectare
    • In Mix: 2-5Kg per Hectare
    • Irrigated: 6-10Kg per Hectare
    (Sub) Tropical Legumes

    Unlike tropical grasses, Tropical legumes are often more digestible and have a higher protein and energy. Whilst monocultures of tropical legumes can be grown, often they are used in conjunction with tropical grasses to improve the overall quality of tropical pasture systems.