Selection and Breeding of Native and Adapted Plant Varieties for Sustainable Southern Idaho Landscapes
Idaho's citizens face complex challenges in terms of designing, establishing, and maintaining attractive sustainable home and community landscapes. Most public areas and home landscapes are intensively managed and consume disproportional amounts of limited water supplies and generate fertilizer and pesticide contaminants that enter the environment. Sustainable landscape planning and management have the potential to optimize esthetic appeal while conserving water, minimizing pest damage and limiting negative environmental impacts. However, proper application of sustainability principles will require appropriate plant materials and locally applicable information for homeowners and land managers. This project is designed to make attractive native plant materials available for landscaped purposes. In southern Idaho, with its high-altitude arid
environment, adapted plant species are typified by low water use and adaptation to shallow, well-drained soils with low levels of natural fertility. Unfortunately, very few nurseries supply plants with these characteristics. Consumer acceptance of native plants in the landscape can be improved through the development of attractive varieties that adapt easily to yard and garden conditions, education of the public in use of native plant materials, and distribution of propagation information that will assist wholesalers with production of new plants.