HABITAT & RANGELAND RESEARCH
West Texas Native Seeds Project 2020
Colin S. Shackelford, Louis A. Harveson, Keith A. Pawelek, and Forrest S. Smith
Evaluation plantings of 38 accessions of hairy grama and eleven accessions of narrowleaf globemallow and an advanced evaluation of 10 accessions of tobosa grass are in the second year of the evaluation process in West Texas. These evaluation plantings were installed at both the Sierra la Rana Plant Evaluation and Research Facility in Alpine and the Railway Ranch Plant Evaluation and Research Facility near Odessa in June 2019. Data collection for these species continued through 2020 before selected accessions were planted for seed increase for eventual commercial release. A feasibility planting of one accession of Huisache daisy was installed in May 2020. An additional feasibility planting of one accession of four-wing saltbush is planned for July 2020. Twenty-three plant material evaluations have now been completed or are underway for West Texas.
Twelve species for grassland restoration in West Texas are now in the seed increase phase before commercial release. These include eight grass species (black grama, blue grama, Hall’s panicum, hooded windmill grass, sand dropseed, sideoats grama, silver bluestem, and whiplash pappusgrass) as well as four forb or shrub species (cowpen daisy, Gregg’s mistflower, skeletonleaf goldeneye, and Tahoka daisy).
Three plant material releases have been completed to date and are currently in commercial production: Brewster Germplasm sideoats grama, Permian Germplasm whiplash pappusgrass, and Santiago Germplasm silver bluestem. Plans are in place for the additional release of sand dropseed and cowpen daisy for the near future.
Plant material collections for West Texas are ongoing to support future plant evaluations for the region. To date, nearly 1,400 collections have been made across West Texas. Collections for Arizona cottontop, Canada wildrye, rayless Gallardia, huisache daisy, and prairie coneflower are nearing completion, with evaluations planned for these species in 2021.
Funding sources: Cooperative funding provided by the Texas Department of Transportation, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, CF Properties and the Sierra la Rana development, Stan Smith, and the Railway Ranch.