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Vegetable IPM Updates Archive
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Botanical Classification of Crops (Apr. 18, 2012)

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 at least 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, but 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, artichokes, radicchio) but is harmful to crops in the brassica family (Broccoli, cabbage, bok choy). The following chart lists crops by botanical family.

Crop Families
Botanical name Common name Crops
Asteraceae Composite or Sunflower Lettuce, endive, radicchio, artichokes, echina, sunflower, salsify, chrysanthemum, stevia, scorzonera, romaine, cardoon, burdock
Cruciferae Brassica or mustard Broccoli, arugula, mizuna, horseradish, cress, bok choy, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, radish, rapini, tot soi, cabbage, rutabaga, brussel sprouts, canola, Chinese cabbage, mustard greens, rape, turnip
Umbelliferae Carrot Carrot, dill, celery, cilantro, fennel, parsley, parsnip, celeriac, angelica
Chenopodium or Amaranthus Goosefoot Spinach, chard, beets, amaranth, epazoloe, sugar beets
Allaceae Lily or onion Asparagus, garlic, onion, leek, shallots ,scallion, cipollini
Cucubitacea Melon Melons, pumpkin, cucumber, squash, gourd, zucchini
Solanaceae Nightshade Tomato, potato, peppers, eggplant, tobacco, tomatillo, petunia
Malvaceae Mallow Okra, cacoa, jute, hibiscus
Polygonacea Knotweed Rhubarb, sorrel, buckwheat, dock
Lamiaceae Mint Basil, mint, shiso, sage, marjoram, oregano, hyssop, savoy, thyme, stachsy
Leguminosae Bean Peas, beans, lentils, alfalfa, clover, lupin, soy beans, peanut, garbanzo, cowpea, vetch
Gramineae Grass Wheat, barley, corn, rice, sugar cane, oats, sorghum, lemon grass, sudan, millet, rye

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For questions or comments on any of the topics please contact Marco Pena at the Yuma Agricultural Center.
College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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