99370 Kurapia (Lippia nodiflora) Performance in the Low Desert Arizona.
Poster Number 338-1315
Kurapia, a sterile cultivated variety of Lippia nodiflora was introduced from Japan to the United States. It was established and investigated in experimental field plots in California where it appeared promising for its low water use and salinity tolerance characteristics. Population growth in the arid desert region is impacting the use of the quantity and quality of water, especially in landscapes and turfgrasses. There is concern about the maintenance costs of landscapes and turfgrasses with inputs for irrigation, fertilizers, and frequent mowing in areas such as lawns for schools, parks, and homes. These concerns have necessitated greater interests to evaluate alternative groundcovers with low input requirements, especially in landscapes where turfgrasses are removed and alternative plant materials are required or desired. The objective of this study was to evaluate the adaptation and performance of kurapia in the low desert southwest United States as a low input turfgrass replacement in non-play areas of golf courses; and to identify herbicides that could be used safely to establish weed-free kurapia. The preliminary results from growing kurapia under deficit irrigation and evaluating for its tolerance to pre-and postemergence herbicides in the low desert Arizona demonstrated kurapia having a 90% survival rate of the planted plugs; lateral plant growth as great as two feet in three months; long-season flowering from May to October that attracted many pollinators; and safe potential use of three preemergence and five postemergence herbicides. Distribution uniformity of irrigation water appeared to be important for uniform growth rate of kurapia. Future studies for kurapia are needed to generate more local information to better understand its water and nutritional needs, to know its competitive nature against weeds and insect pests.