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Onobrychis viciifolia - Scop.
                 
Common Name Sainfoin
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Grassland on chalk and limestone[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from France south and east to Spain, Siberia, Caucasus and Iran.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Summary

Onobrychis viciifolia Sainfoin


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:93_Onobrychis_sativa_Lmk.jpg
Onobrychis viciifolia Sainfoin
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Lycaon
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Onobrychis viciifolia is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from Jun to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms
O. sativa.

Habitats
 Meadow;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses:

One report says that the plant is edible[20], but does not say what part of the plant is used.
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
Soil conditioner;  Soil stabilization.

A good soil conditioner for poor light soils[115]. The plants can be grown on the land for a number of years, the deep tap roots breaking up the sub-soil and bringing up minerals from below. Plants can be cut during the growing season but care must be taken not to cut too low because the tap root tends to rise above ground level and the plant can be killed if this is cut off[115]. The plant has an extensive root system and is useful for stabilizing soils[160, 200].
Cultivation details
Prefers a well-drained neutral to alkaline sandy loam in full sun[1, 200]. Succeeds in poor soils[115] and in shallow soils over chalk[200]. Dislikes shade. Does not succeed in wet soils[115]. A good border plant for the vegetable garden[18, 20], the deep tap root helps to break up the sub-soil[115]. Plants are resistant to alfalfa stem nematodes[160] and are immune to bacterial wilt disease and attacks by the alfalfa stem weevil[160]. A good bee plant[200]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
Propagation
Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and sow in situ in the spring[1, 200]. Seed can also be sown in situ in the autumn. If seed is in short supply then it might be wiser to sow it in pots in a cold frame in early spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in the spring just before new growth commences[200]. Large divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Books by Plants For A Future

Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
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Expert comment
 
Author
Scop.
Botanical References
17200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Tim Bouts Mon Dec 17 2007
Sainfoin contains condensed tannins which have antiparasitis properties in ruminants. So the usefulness of this plant is much higher than rated by yourselves
Melvin H.
Click link to read more. Jan 9 2011 12:00AM
The seeds are edible, with the plant producing 18,000 seeds/pound. "Sainfoin is subject to crown rot and the stands may not persist more than 5-6 years in areas subject to heavy infection." This problem can probably be eliminated or neutralized by growing sainfoin following barley in a no-till rotation with some of the barley straw left in situ.
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Subject : Onobrychis viciifolia  

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