Project Description

Legumes of Arizona: an Illustrated Flora and Reference is a synoptic floristic account of the family Fabaceae in Arizona. It will include all native, naturalized and cultivated taxa. The flora will include written descriptions and identification keys, as well as distribution maps, photographs and illustrations. In addition to these standard elements, this reference will include information on the historic and potential uses of these plants, as well as horticultural information for cultivated taxa. It is our intention that this reference serve as a resource for a broad audience and we intend to simplify terminology whenever possible without compromising accuracy.

Current state of research and project need
The legume family is one of the most economically and agriculturally important plant families in the world. Wide-ranging uses of these plants include their production as protein-rich foods and sources of pharmaceuticals for humans, forage for animals, and natural sources of nitrogen in agriculture (for example, as nurse plants) thanks to nitrogen-fixing bacteria located in their roots. These plants are particularly significant in Arizona as many species are adapted to arid lands, and desert-adapted plants will become increasingly important as water issues of the state become more critical. Despite this family’s significance, there is no comprehensive reference for these plants in the United States or for Arizona.

Legumes of Arizona will serve the needs of many groups including, but not limited to, farmers, horticulturists, landscapers, homeowners, botanists, herbalists, pharmacognosists, and a wide variety of plant researchers. It will be the only flora describing this family in Arizona and will serve as a tool for identification. Additionally, as we search for new food crops, native plants for the horticulture industry, medicinally useful plants, plant oils and fibers, and even new technologies for fixing atmospheric nitrogen, this legume flora and reference will serve as an invaluable resource. It can, in fact, become a guide for informed selection of legume plants with the greatest potential for success in the desired endeavor, from agriculture to the search for new drugs.

Anticipated publication date

Project Oversight

Project Coordinator
Kirsten Lake, Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Editorial Committee
Mark Bierner, Ph.D. – University of Texas
Mark Siegwarth – Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Martin F. Wojciechowski, Ph.D. – Arizona State University
Michelle McMahon, Ph.D. – University of Arizona
Philip Jenkins – University of Arizona Herbarium
Matthew B. Johnson - Desert Legume Program
Margaret Pope – The Art Institute, ASDM

Table of Contents
I. Overview of the Flora and Reference
II. Information Helpful in Using the Flora and Reference

A. Arrangement of Taxa and General Methods

B. Descriptions

C. Keys

D. Sources of Information

E. Nomenclature

F. Geographic Distributions

G. Information on Toxic/Poisonous Plants

H. Information on Useful Plants

I. Information on Plants of Conservation Concern

J. Information on Illustrations and Photographs

K. Information on the Glossary

L. Information on References and Literature Cited

M. Abbreviations and Symbols

N. Summary Data on the Flora and Reference

III. Acknowledgements
IV. Authors’ Note
V. Introduction to Arizona

A. Overview

B. Vegetational Regions of Arizona

C. General Geology of Arizona

D. Soils and Soil-Related Geology of Arizona

F. Climate and Weather of Arizona

G. Origin and Diversity of the Arizona Flora

H. Conservation in Arizona

I. History of Botany in Arizona

J. Bioprospecting

VI. Taxonomic Treatment and Discussions

A. Phylo-Taxonomic Key to Generic Level Named Clades (all taxa)

B. Artificial Key to Genera (all taxa)

C. Native and Naturalized Taxa (including ones under cultivation)

D. Cultivated Taxa (occurring in Arizona only under cultivation)

VII. Appendices
VIII. Glossary/Illustrated Glossary
IX. Literature Cited
X. Index
XI. Information on Authors and Participating Institutions