Prairie Acacia, Panic led Tick-Clover, and Herbaceous Mimosa Herbage, Nitrogen and Seed Yields, Nutritive Value, and Regional Adaptation
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Domestication of herbaceous, perennial, warm-season North American legumes can contribute to a wide array of conservation and agricultural objectives. This study examined 'Plains' Germplasm prairie acacia [PPA; Acacia angustissima (Mill.) Kunze var. hirta (Nutt.) B.L. Rob.], panicled tick-clover [PTC; Desmodium paniculatum (L.) D.C.], and 'Crockett' Germplasm herbaceous mimosa (CHM; Mimosa strigillosa Torr & A. Gray) herbage yield, nutritive value, effect of herbage harvest on seed production, and range of adaptation. At Stephenville, TX, on a Windthorst fine sandy loam (fine, mixed, avtive, thermic Udic Paleustalf), herbaceous mimosa yielded the most (P 0.05) herbage dry matter (DM) of all entries in 2008, 2009, and 2010 (3380, 7510, and 3570 kg ha -1, respectively). Plains Germp lasm prairie acacia produced the greatest (P 0.05) seed yields in 2008 and 2009 (1480 and 2590 kg ha -1, respectively), while CHM yielded the least seed for the first 2 yr after seeding. Overall, PPA had the lowest (P 0.05) leaf fiber concentrations. Harvest in general negatively (P 0.05) affected seed yield. Plot cover ratings of these entries seeded along a longitudinal gradient from Knox City (3326 N, 9951 W), Stephenville, and Nacogdoches, TX, to Homer, LA, (32 47 N, 93 3 W) indicated that CHM was the quickest to spread via stolons, followed by PPA via rhizomes, while PTC, limited to seed for recruitment, was slower to spread. All three perennial, herbaceous legumes are promising for pasture, rangeland, wildlife habitat, and prairie restoration. 2012 by the American Society of Agronomy, 5585 Guilford Road, Madison, WI 53711. All rights reserved.