The age of leaves of Ladino clover had a significant effect on both the proportion of leaf blades to leaf stalks and also its carotene content. Young small new leaves harvested from the top of stolons of Ladino clover have a higher percentage of leaf blades in comparison with its stalks than large fully developed old leaves of the same stolons. Leaf blades at any growing stage in general contained almost 90 per cent of the total carotene in the entire leaves. Leaf stalks have only I 0 per cent of the total carotene in Ladino clover. Therefore, the most important part of Ladino clover is the leaf blades which is the best source of Vitamin A for live-stock. If leaves are very young just beginning to grow on the top of stolons, the carotene content is very low and the color of such leaves is pale green. These pale green colored leaves were predominant among leaves under the height of 20 cm. At these stages most leaves are not yet completely opened and are not very green.
A significant relationship exists between the carotene content and the green color, chlorophylls of leaves. It is well known that the more green pigments the leaves possess, the higher the carotene content. If leaves contain a large amount of carotene, they usually have deep green color.
Therefore, the best indicator of carotene content is leaf color; if leaves contain a large amount of carotene, they usually have a good green color. Ladino clover is one of the best sources of carotene. This is to be expected because the leaf blades, leaf stalks and relatively small amounts of flowers are the only parts of the entire plant which are harvested. When the stems of any other legumes or grasses are harvested, stolons of Ladino clover should not be included.
In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that Ladino clover should be allowed to grow to the height of 25 cm after each pasturing and also should not be cut or grazed to the height less than 5 to 7 cm.