Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Basalt Milkvetch and Globemallows: North American Forbs for Rehabilitation, Conservation, and Forage Production

Authors
item Johnson, Douglas
item Jones, Thomas
item Cane, James
item Gardner, Dale
item Peel, Michael

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 27, 2004
Publication Date: February 4, 2005
Citation: Johnson, D.A., Jones, T.A., Cane, J.H., Gardner, D.R., Peel, M. 2005. Basalt milkvetch and globemallows: north american forbs for rehabilitation, conservation, and forage production. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts.

Technical Abstract: Basalt milkvetch (Astragalus filipes) and globemallows (Sphaeralcea grossulariifolia, S. munroana) are North American forbs that have potential for post-fire rehabilitation, conservation, and forage production in the western U.S. Seed collections were taken from basalt milkvetch at 72 sites across six western states along with associated site data. Basalt milvetch occurs on a wide diversity of sites ranging from 127 mm annual precipitation in Nevada to more than 500 mm precipitation in northeast California. Elevations at the collection sites ranged from about 200 m to 2,500 m. Although basalt milkvetch is a good seed producer, seed weevils (Tychius spp.) and seed beetles (Acanthoscelides spp.) were found on plants at most sites. High densities of plants occurred in burned areas in Oregon and Nevada. Plant toxicity analysis showed that amounts of nitrotoxins (3-nitropropanol), selenium, and swainsonine were non-detectable or extremely low for all collections. Seedings were established in a greenhouse with soil inoculated with homogenized soil from the collections sites. Fresh root nodules were harvested from greenhouse plants and sent to the Nitragin Company for plating, culture, and isolation of rhizobial strains, which will be tested to determine the most effective strain for nitrogen fixation. In 2004, greenhouse-grown plants of basalt milkvetch were established at three sites in northern Utah. Plants will be evaluated for stand establishment, plant vigor, growth habit, biomass production, forage quality, pollination needs, grazing tolerance, persistence, and seed yield. Similar studies were initiated in 2002 with globemallows with a goal to develop cultivars with improved traits.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014