Mexican Clover Richardia Brasiliensis

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Pete28
Posts: 2
Joined: 14 Oct 2018, 22:33

Mexican Clover Richardia Brasiliensis

Post by Pete28 » 14 Oct 2018, 22:39

Hello folks hope everyone is well. I was hoping someone could answer a question about the above mentioned plant. I have an abundance of this plant on my property in Florida. I have several gopher tortoises on the property that eat a lot of it. I was wondering if I could feed it to my marginated and my sulcata. I searched the database but found nothing on it. If it helps it is in the same family as Field madder.

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Nina
Posts: 522
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Mexican Clover Richardia Brasiliensis

Post by Nina » 14 Oct 2018, 23:03

Hi Pete,

Oh I do envy you having gopher tortoises on your property -- how great is that! You are right that Richardia brasiliensis is in the same family as Field Madder (the Rubiaceae family), but it's a big family with over 600 genera in it (and, I think, about 10,000 species), including the Gardenia, which is not suitable as tortoise food, so we're never complacent if a plant is in the same family as a known safe plant.

However the good news is that Mexican Clover is perfectly safe to feed, and I can see from many sources that it is known to be a great favorite of Gopher tortoises. It does contain some coumarins, steroids and various alkaloids, but not in enough quantity to make it dangerous, and I think it would be fine to feed to add to the diets of your Sulcata and Marginated tortoises. As I'm sure you know, Sulcatas require a diet that is at least 70% grasses (preferably more), so I wouldn't offer it as a substantial part of your Sulcata's diet, but it could definitely be included. Your Marginated will like a diet that is more varied, with lots of different leaves and flowers, and I think that he (or she) will also appreciate some of this in his diet.

I hope you haven't been badly affected by the recent terrible weather in Florida! If you ever want to post any photos of your set-up and your tortoises, we'd love to see them, as we are based in the UK and although we do keep Sulcatas and Marginateds here, we don't have Gopher torts and always like to see them!

Nina

Pete28
Posts: 2
Joined: 14 Oct 2018, 22:33

Re: Mexican Clover Richardia Brasiliensis

Post by Pete28 » 17 Oct 2018, 01:00

Thank you ever so much for your wonderful response! I will definitely add a bit to their diets as I'm sure they will enjoy it. I was looking for the new person section to introduce myself is there one on here? I will definitely post some gopher tortoises pictures. My father's family is spread out in the UK including Wales, London, and somerset. I love going over to visit :)

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Nina
Posts: 522
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Mexican Clover Richardia Brasiliensis

Post by Nina » 17 Oct 2018, 08:54

And thank you so much for the compliments! You're right, we should have a section where people can introduce themselves, but unfortunately we don't, so you can introduce yourself in the post you write. It would be so super to see photos of gopher tortoises in your yard.

I do envy you having a better climate for tortoises in Florida than we do in the UK, and if you visit the UK at various times of year you will know how miserable our weather can be at times. However, this summer we had some long dry spells and the tortoises were loving it. I was actually born in Florida (many, many years ago!), but grew up around Chicago and have lived in the UK for a long time.

Cheers, and we look forward to seeing photos of your torts!

Nina

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