The University of Arizona

Element concentrations in globemallow herbage.

M.D. Rumbaugh, H.F. Mayland, B.M. Pendery, G.E. Shewmaker


Globemallows (Sphaeralcea spp.) are native, drought-resistant forbs of interest for inclusion in seed mixtures for semiarid rangeland renovation. Little is known of their nutritional value for ungulates. We measured element concentrations in representative globemallow species and evaluated their adequacy for livestock nutrition. We also correlated forage selection by sheep (Ovis aries) with element concentrations. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), crested wheatgrass [Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn. X A. desertorum (Fisch.) Schult.], and 13 accessions of globemallows [S. coccinea (Pursh) Rydb., S. grossulariifolia (H. & A.) Rydb., S. munroana (Dougl) Spach., and S. parvifolia A. Nels.] were transplanted into replicated grazing trials in southern Idaho. Herbage was sampled and the pastures were grazed by sheep in the fall of 2 years and in the spring of the following 2 years. Concentrations of Ca and Mg in crested wheatgrass were lower than in forbs. Differences between seasons were greater than the differences among globemallow species. Forage selection ratios were positively associated with the N concentration of globemallow leaves and with the Ca:P ratio of globemallow stems but were negatively associated with stem Zn concentrations. Herbage from pastures containing crested wheatgrass with globemallows and/or alfalfa would meet the dietary element requirements of beef cattle (Bos taurus) and sheep.


Sphaeralcea;sphaeralcea grossulariifolia;sphaeralcea parvifolia;Sphaeralcea coccinea;nutrient content;arid lands;pastures;Idaho;diets;sheep;grazing behavior;nutritive value;forage

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