Lablab: Rio Verde

RIO VERDE LABLAB (Lablab purpureus L. Sweet) is a vining, herbaceous tropical legume with high nutritive value as a forage or browse for ruminant animals. Useful qualities of this tropical forage include drought tolerance, high palatability, high nutritive value, excellent forage yields and adaptation to diverse environmental conditions. Rio Verde is a multi-purpose forage legume that can be used in Texas and beyond in livestock production systems and as supplemental browse for white-tailed deer.

Rio Verde lablab was developed through selection for tolerance to defoliation, forage production potential and Texas seed production. Rio Verde was developed at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton, Texas and released by Texas AgriLife Research in 2006. Rio Verde is the first lablab cultivar developed in the US and seed of Rio Verde can be produced effectively in Texas locations and perhaps beyond. Rio Verde is a unique variety of lablab that differs in seed size, flowering date, flower color and nematode resistance from all known commercial cultivars. Seed size of Rio Verde is approximately 3400 seed per pound compared to the seed size of the Australian cultivar “Rongai” of 1600-2000 seed per pound. Flower color of Rio Verde is lavender compared to the white flower of Rongai. Rio Verde is less susceptible to southern root-knot nematode than the highly susceptible cultivar Rongai.

Application for Plant Variety Protection has been filed and Rio Verde must be sold by variety name.


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