Zinc (Zn) is an important micronutrient that can alleviate cadmium (Cd) toxicity to plants and limit Cd entry into the food chain. However, little is known about the Zn-Cd interactions in pasture plants. We characterized the effects of foliar Zn application and Cd uptake by ryegrass (Lolium rigidum L.) and clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) grown on Cd-contaminated soils; all combinations of foliar Zn applications (0, 0.25 and 0.5% (w/v) ZnSO4·7H2O) and soil Cd concentrations (0, 2.5 and 5 mg Cd kg-1) were tested. For both plant species, soil concentrations of DTPA-extractable Cd and Zn increased with an increase in the Cd and Zn treatments, respectively. Compared with L. rigidum, T. subterraneum accumulated, respectively, 3.3- and 4.1-fold more Cd in the 2.5-Cd and 5-Cd treatments and about 1.3-, 2.3- and 2.8-fold more Zn in the No-Zn, 0.25-Zn and 0.5-Zn treatments. Also, DTPA-Zn concentration was higher in soil after T. subterraneum than L. rigidum growth regardless of Zn applications. Foliar application of 0.25% (w/v) Zn significantly decreased the total Cd concentration in shoots of both species grown in the Cd-contaminated soil and ameliorated the adverse effects of Cd exposure on root growth, particularly in T. subterraneum.