Botanical classification of crops

By Barry Tickes, UA Area Agriculture Agent

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.

It is helpful to know what botanical family they belong to because crops in the same family often have similar growth habits, pest problems, and fertility requirements. There are almost no pesticides registered for some of these crops because of the limited acreage. The response to pesticides is often, but not always, similar to that of other crops in the same family.

Knowing the family they are in can often give you an idea of what to expect. Kerb, for instance, is generally safe to crops in the Composite family (lettuce, artichoke, and radicchio) but is harmful to crops in the Brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, and bok choy).

Contact Tickes: (928) 580-9902 or btickes@ag.arizona.edu.