Plant Care-Desert Legume Program (DELEP)-Spring Wildflower Checklist

The Desert Legume Program (DELEP)

The Taylor Family Desert Legume Demonstration Garden at the Arboretum is just one of DELEP's significant accomplishments.

The legume family, consisting of some 18,000 species, is a major division of the plant kingdom. This family is spread over the globe. Members of the family have long served human needs. They are used as food for humans and animals. Food legume species include alfalfa, soybeans, edible peas and beans etc. Legumes also provide shade, timber, firewood and windbreaks. They serve admirably in landscape plantings and as sources of medicinal compounds and industrial products.

Many of the species have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria which grow on the plant roots and convert nitrogen from the air into a form that is usable by plants. This feature equips many legume species to fit into a pattern of sustainable agriculture.

In spite of their importance, the legumes of the deserts of the world have never been systematically collected and studied. Some of the species are in danger of becoming extinct. Many of them hold secrets of great value yet to be discovered.

Purposes

The Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum jointly sponsors the Desert Legume Project (DELEP) with the University of Arizona for the purposes of:

DELEP was founded by the now Director-Emeritus Dr. R. Phillip Upchurch in April of 1988. In 1994, on the retirement of Dr. Upchurch, Dr. William R. Feldman assumed the duties of director of DELEP, in addition to his duties as managing director of BTSA.

Publications

DELEP's quarterly bulletin, ARIDUS, is published to stimulate interest in desert legumes, to inform readers of DELEP's activities, and to encourage support for DELEP's programs.

To subscribe to ARIDUS: Send name and address to:

The University of Arizona
Desert Legume Program
2120 East Allen Road
Tucson, Arizona 85719
U.S.A.

There is no charge for ARIDUS. DELEP has initiated and substantially developed a library and computerized database dealing with legumes. It also sponsors special publications.

National Seed Storage Database

DELEP's holdings at the National Seed Storage Lab in Ft. Collins are searchable in the GRIN database. The website address is: http://www.ars-grin.gov/

Opportunities for Participation

Dedicated volunteer labor makes limited funds stretch further. Volunteers come from many backgrounds and work on a wide variety of projects ranging from wild seed collection through horticulture, seed processing, organization of special events, laboratory experiments, desktop publishing, and other office work. To volunteer telephone: (520)318-7047

DELEP's very limited funds come from a variety of sources, government, private industry and philanthropy etc., under a variety of terms including contracts, grants, and gifts. Contributions large and small from individuals are welcome and may be directed either to current operations or to the Endowment Fund.

To contribute: Send a check, payable to U of A Foundation/DELEP. Concerning a pledge, a restricted gift, or estate planning contact:

The University of Arizona
Desert Legume Program
2120 East Allen Road
Tucson, Arizona 85719
U.S.A.