CPC Plant Profile: Brush-pea
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Plant Profile

Brush-pea (Genistidium dumosum)

This shrub grows from 30 to 90 cm tall, with numerous slender branches arising from its base. Photo Credit: Kathy Rice
Description
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • State: MX, TX
  • Nature Serve ID: 144173
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/04/1991

Genistidium dumosum is a small shrub known from only three locations in in the United States (Poole 1982). G. dumosum is not protected because additional populations are thought to occur in Mexico (Poole 1989). Leaves are drought-deciduous and appear only after a rain. This habit gives the shrub and unusual mixed appearance of new and dead stems. Small yellow flowers grow in racemes and fruits are pods approximately 2 cm long.

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Updates
  • 10/06/2020
  • Living Collection

To date, Desert Botanical Garden has 59 seeds of G. dumosum. Plants have been grown to flower ex situ, but have never produced seeds.

  • 10/06/2020
  • Tissue Culture

Propagation of this species is a continuing effort at the Desert Botanical Gardens. Cuttings were made in 1990, and rooted, but later died during transplant attempts. even seeds collected from a population in 1991 were scarified and planted. Only three of the seeds matured. In 1994, cuttings were again made, rooted, and plants flowered. Fruits formed, but failed to develop, dropping off before reaching half their length. The cuttings failed to emerge from dormancy in 1995 and finally died. It is possible that the number of plants in this population is too small for sexual reproduction. To date, Desert Botanical Garden has 59 seeds of G. dumosum. Plants have been grown to flower ex situ, but have never produced seeds. Stem cuttings have been rooted--a relatively low percentage (<10%) formed roots following collection, leafed out, flowered, and produced only empty fruits. The cuttings then entered winter dormancy, declined and died. The site at Six-shooter Hill is close enough to the highway to easily maintain as a potential augmentation, but the environmental pressures are extremely challenging. (Desert Botanical Garden 2000)

  • 10/05/2020
  • Reproductive Research

Propagation of this species is a continuing effort at the Desert Botanical Gardens. Cuttings were made in 1990, and rooted, but later died during transplant attempts. even seeds collected from a population in 1991 were scarified and planted. Only three of the seeds matured. In 1994, cuttings were again made, rooted, and plants flowered. Fruits formed, but failed to develop, dropping off before reaching half their length. The cuttings failed to emerge from dormancy in 1995 and finally died. It is possible that the number of plants in this population is too small for sexual reproduction. To date, Desert Botanical Garden has 59 seeds of G. dumosum. Plants have been grown to flower ex situ, but have never produced seeds. Stem cuttings have been rooted--a relatively low percentage (<10%) formed roots following collection, leafed out, flowered, and produced only empty fruits. The cuttings then entered winter dormancy, declined and died. The site at Six-shooter Hill is close enough to the highway to easily maintain as a potential augmentation, but the environmental pressures are extremely challenging. (Desert Botanical Garden 2000)

  • 10/05/2020
  • Seed Collection

Propagation of this species is a continuing effort at the Desert Botanical Gardens. Cuttings were made in 1990, and rooted, but later died during transplant attempts. even seeds collected from a population in 1991 were scarified and planted. Only three of the seeds matured. In 1994, cuttings were again made, rooted, and plants flowered. Fruits formed, but failed to develop, dropping off before reaching half their length. The cuttings failed to emerge from dormancy in 1995 and finally died. It is possible that the number of plants in this population is too small for sexual reproduction. To date, Desert Botanical Garden has 59 seeds of G. dumosum. Plants have been grown to flower ex situ, but have never produced seeds. Stem cuttings have been rooted--a relatively low percentage (<10%) formed roots following collection, leafed out, flowered, and produced only empty fruits. The cuttings then entered winter dormancy, declined and died. The site at Six-shooter Hill is close enough to the highway to easily maintain as a potential augmentation, but the environmental pressures are extremely challenging. (Desert Botanical Garden 2000)

  • 10/05/2020
  • Propagation Research

Propagation of this species is a continuing effort at the Desert Botanical Gardens. Cuttings were made in 1990, and rooted, but later died during transplant attempts. even seeds collected from a population in 1991 were scarified and planted. Only three of the seeds matured. In 1994, cuttings were again made, rooted, and plants flowered. Fruits formed, but failed to develop, dropping off before reaching half their length. The cuttings failed to emerge from dormancy in 1995 and finally died. It is possible that the number of plants in this population is too small for sexual reproduction. To date, Desert Botanical Garden has 59 seeds of G. dumosum. Plants have been grown to flower ex situ, but have never produced seeds. Stem cuttings have been rooted--a relatively low percentage (<10%) formed roots following collection, leafed out, flowered, and produced only empty fruits. The cuttings then entered winter dormancy, declined and died. The site at Six-shooter Hill is close enough to the highway to easily maintain as a potential augmentation, but the environmental pressures are extremely challenging. (Desert Botanical Garden 2000)

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Only 6 occurrences are known: 3 in Brewster County, Texas (all within a few km of one another) and 3 in Coahuila, Mexico. The Texas populations consist of fewer than 50 plants.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Possible threats to the only site that has been visited include routine maintenance and stochastic events, such as drought (Poole 1982).

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

There are three sites in Texas and additional but unconfirmed sites in Mexico (Poole 1982).

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Propagation of this species is a continuing effort at the Desert Botanical Gardens. Cuttings were made in 1990, and rooted, but later died during transplant attempts. even seeds collected from a population in 1991 were scarified and planted. Only three of the seeds matured. In 1994, cuttings were again made, rooted, and plants flowered. Fruits formed, but failed to develop, dropping off before reaching half their length. The cuttings failed to emerge from dormancy in 1995 and finally died. It is possible that the number of plants in this population is too small for sexual reproduction. To date, Desert Botanical Garden has 59 seeds of G. dumosum. Plants have been grown to flower ex situ, but have never produced seeds. Stem cuttings have been rooted--a relatively low percentage (<10%) formed roots following collection, leafed out, flowered, and produced only empty fruits. The cuttings then entered winter dormancy, declined and died. The site at Six-shooter Hill is close enough to the highway to easily maintain as a potential augmentation, but the environmental pressures are extremely challenging. (Desert Botanical Garden 2000)

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Plants are being monitored regularly by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. At the Six-shooter Hill population, there are only fifteen plants remaining. Seeds have been observed on only one plant, in one year during the eight years that Desert Botanical Garden staff has visited. (Desert Botanical Garden 2000)

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Surveys of sites in Mexico are needed in order to determine if U.S. populations require protection. Research needs include aspects of reproductive biology and ecology and well as understanding biotic/abiotic interactions.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Genistidium dumosum
Authority I.M. Johnston
Family Fabaceae
CPC Number 2000
ITIS 26710
USDA GEDU
Common Names brush-pea | bush-pea
Associated Scientific Names Genistidium dumosum
Distribution This species is known from Texas and Mexico (Poole 1982).
State Rank
State State Rank
Mexico *FR83
Texas S1
Habitat

Plants grow in full sun on rocky limestone, southwest-facing hillsides in Chihuahuan Desert scrub, with Coryphantha albicolumnaria, Agave lechuguilla, Hechtia texensis, Ephedra viridis, and Echinocereus dasyacanthus (Poole 1982).

Ecological Relationships

Unknown.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Reintroduction
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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