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Vegetable IPM Updates Archive
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Using the Botanical Classification of Crops to Evaluate Herbicide Tolerance (Sep. 19, 2012)

An increasingly diverse number of minor acreage specialty crops are grown in this region every year. Managing some of these crops can be difficult without local experience. Crops in the same family often have similar growth habits, pest problems and fertility requirements and it can be helpful to know what botanical family they are in. There are almost no pesticides registered for some of these crops because of the limited acreage but their response to pesticides is often, but not always, similar to that of other crops in the same family. Kerb (pronamide), for instance, is generally safe to crops in the composite family (lettuce, artichokes, radicchio etc.) but is harmful to crops in the brassica family( broccoli, bok choy, etc.) The question of Balan safety to endive came up this week. Prefar and Kerb are registered on this crop but not Balan. Endive is in the same botanical family as lettuce. This is the Aster, sunflower or composite family. It is the largest family of flowering plants. Endive is in a different genus, however, than lettuce. The genus is chichorium(chicory) genus while lettuce is in the lactuca genus. Escarole and radicchio are types of endive. It is unclear if Balan is not registered on endive because of crop safety or other registration issues. Herbicides are sometimes not registered on certain crops because required studies have not been completed and a tolerance has not been established. We are currently evaluating the safety of balan to endive and escarole and should have an indication in about a week. We have put the following table together to help identify the botanical families many of the crops grown here belong to.

Crop Families

Botanical name Common name Crops
Asteraceae Composite or Sunflower Lettuce, endive, radicchio, artichokes, echina, sunflower, salsify, chrysanthemum, stevia, scorzonera, romaine, cardoon, burdock
Cruciferae Brassica or mustard Broccoli, arugula, mizuna, horseradish, cress, bok choy, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, radish, rapini, tot soi, cabbage, rutabaga, brussel sprouts, canola, Chinese cabbage, mustard greens, rape, turnip
Umbelliferae Carrot Carrot, dill, celery, cilantro, fennel, parsley, parsnip, celeriac, angelica
Chenopodium or Amaranthus Goosefoot Spinach, chard, beets, amaranth, epazoloe, sugar beets
Allaceae Lily or onion Asparagus, garlic, onion, leek, shallots ,scallion, cipollini
Cucubitacea Melon Melons, pumpkin, cucumber, squash, gourd, zucchini
Solanaceae Nightshade Tomato, potato, peppers, eggplant, tobacco, tomatillo, petunia
Malvaceae Mallow Okra, cacoa, jute, hibiscus
Polygonacea Knotweed Rhubarb, sorrel, buckwheat, dock
Lamiaceae Mint Basil, mint, shiso, sage, marjoram, oregano, hyssop, savoy, thyme, stachsy
Leguminosae Bean Peas, beans, lentils, alfalfa, clover, lupin, soy beans, peanut, garbanzo, cowpea, vetch
Gramineae Grass Wheat, barley, corn, rice, sugar cane, oats, sorghum, lemon grass, sudan, millet, rye

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For questions or comments on any of the topics please contact Marco Pena at the Yuma Agricultural Center.
College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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