By: Perin McNelis, BRN Assistant Manager Nursery & Seed Curation
The BRN Native Plant Materials program staff had a great time working with field botanists from the USDA Forest Service’s Enterprise Program last week to survey the presence of wild Chiltepines (Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum) and other crop wild relatives and sensitive plant species in the Wild Chile Botanical Area of the Tumacacori Highlands.
This work is a part of a project started by the US Forest Service, the Agricultural Resource Service, and Gary Nabhan, with the goal to track the changing presence of plant populations that have ethnobotanical significance, are threatened or sensitive, or are related to cultivated plants.
BRN’s specific role in this project is to focus on collecting voucher specimens to send to the University of Arizona Herbarium and scout for populations to collect seed from for germplasm banking.
Protecting and maintaining healthy populations of arid land adapted wild crop relatives is so important for future food security in the face of climate change.
Thank you to our wonderful partners Gary Nabhan, the USDA Forest Service, and the USDA Agricultural Resource Service for making this work possible!
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