Salinity tolerance of Sophora secundiflora and Cercis canadensis var. mexicana Academic Article uri icon


  • Use of reclaimed water to irrigate urban landscapes will likely increase because fresh water supply is diminishing and the population continues to grow in the semiarid southwestern United States. Salt tolerance of two native landscape woody ornamentals, Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora) and Mexican redbud (Cercis canadensis var. mexicana), was investigated in a greenhouse experiment. Seedlings of the two species were grown in two substrates mixed with composted mulch and a commercial potting mix at two ratios and irrigated with saline solutions at three salinity levels: 1.6 (control, nutrient solution), 3.0, or 6.0 dSm-1electrical conductivity (EC). There was no interaction between substrate and EC of irrigation water. Foliar salt damages such as leaf drop, leaf curl, and edge burn were observed in Mexican redbud when the plants were irrigated with solutions at EC of 3.0 and 6.0 dSm-1. No symptoms were observed on Texas mountain laurel plants, although plants irrigated at EC of 3.0 and 6.0 dSm-1were smaller compared with controls. Shoot growth and elongation of both species were reduced by the elevated salinity of irrigation water, and the reduction in Mexican redbud was greater than Texas mountain laurel. Leaf photosynthesis rate and leaf stomatal conductance were also reduced in Texas mountain laurel by the elevated salinity of irrigation water. Tissue Na+and Cl-concentrations were higher in Texas mountain laurel irrigated with water of elevated salinity.

published proceedings

  • HortScience

author list (cited authors)

  • Niu, G., Rodriguez, D. S., & Gu, M.

complete list of authors

  • Niu, G||Rodriguez, DS||Gu, M

publication date

  • March 2010