Viper is a late flowering long season balansa clover, known as a self-regenerating annual legume. It is a semi-erect, hollow stemmed species that can grow to 1 metre tall, but remains prostrate when grazed.
Leaves are white clover-like, but vary greatly in size, shape and leaf marking. Leaflet margins can be smooth or serrated. The variation in leaf marking and shape is due to individual varieties being composed of a mixture of several genotypes. Both leaves and stems are hairless. Flowers are white-pink in colour and similar shape to white clover.
Seeds vary in colour from pale yellow to dark brown. They are a little smaller than white clover. They are very hard seeded and will often not start germinating substantially until they have been through two summers.
Although predominantly autumn sown, Viper can be strategically spring sown with spring cereals, Italian ryegrass or brassica. This provides a fast 3-4 month burst of legume growth.