Desert Legume Program

DELEP Fields

DELEP has planted field trials in four locations in Arizona. Plants used in the field trials are propagated at the Campus Agricultural Center, DELEP's headquarters, in Tucson. The plants are typically transplanted to the field from one and two gallon containers. Most plantings are in the spring or summer. Large woody species are pruned when young to develop an arborescent form.

The original field planting was in 1989 at the Campus Agricultural Center, Tucson, located immediately south of the Rillito River where cold air drainage is a significant factor. This 1.5 acre field contains 425 individual plants representing 134 taxa. No further plantings are planned in this field. DELEP continues to maintain the field (pruning and weed control) and to monitor the plants for survival, growth and seed collection. Many of the plants growing in this field are maturing and provide data on long-term growth. Several taxa growing here have not been successfully established in other fields.

DELEP has another 0.5 acre field for evaluating shrubs and herbaceous perennials at the Campus Agricultural Center in Tucson. This field contains 220 individual plants representing 94 taxa. The current and long term objectives for this field are to evaluate survival and growth and collect seed. Weeding and pruning are conducted on a regular basis. Future plantings are planned for this field.

In 1991 DELEP began planting in Yuma, Arizona at the University of Arizona Yuma Mesa Agricultural Center. The field covered four acres and contained 200 individual plants representing 92 taxa. The Yuma location provided the ideal setting for DELEP to evaluate frost sensitive woody legumes. Periodic visits were made by DELEP personnel to evaluate survival and growth, and to collect seed. Maintenance was conducted by DELEP personnel and volunteers during these visits. The Yuma field site was phased out at the end of 2013 after a final plant evaluation was completed, large quantities of seeds were collected, and herbarium voucher specimens were collected from all of the accessions growing there. Several plants were transplanted to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

The West Campus Agricultural Center was planted with DELEP material in 1998. A 1.5 acre field contains 200 individual plants representing 75 taxa. The field has mostly tree species. New plants have been planted in this field since 1998 and future plantings are envisioned. Survival and growth are evaluated and seeds collected. A two year study on the growth of eleven species in this field was recently concluded.

A complete record of survival and performance of all species can be found in the survival and performance section of this web site.

DELEP has contracted with researchers in the past to collect biomass from various species to be processed and evaluated for pharmaceutical purposes. DELEP fields are attractive to researchers because the plant material can be readily collected and shipped to the research site.

                                                                                                                                                         Updated August 2016






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