Boron (B) is present at toxic levels in the subsoils of much of the semiarid south-eastern Australian cereal-livestock zone. Boron toxicity is typically associated with alkaline soils, where annual medics (Medicago spp.) are generally the best-adapted pasture legume. New medic cultivars have been developed for which there is no published B tolerance information. Five species of annual medic represented by 13 cultivars were grown in soil amended with B and evaluated for B tolerance. A rating system based on expression of symptoms was modified from earlier research. There was a wide range of response to B, both between and within species. Cultivars varied widely in their expression of symptoms; from showing no or few leaf symptoms (tolerant) to significant leaf necrosis (very sensitive). An integrated summary of both published and previously, unpubl. data for these and other medics is presented to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date comparison between different species and most commercial cultivars. This information will be useful for plant breeders, agronomists and farmers who manage soils with high B levels.
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