Lablab (Lablab purpureus [L.] Sweet) is a vining, herbaceous tropical legume with high nutritive value as a forage or browse for ruminant animals. Useful qualities of this tropical forage include drought tolerance, high palatability, high nutritive value, excellent forage yields and adaptation to diverse environmental conditions.
Currently, seed of the Australian lablab cultivar ‘Rongai’ is imported into the US primarily for supplemental forage plantings for white-tailed deer. Rongai was released by the New South Wales Department of Agriculture in 1962. Rongai is very late maturing and generally does not flower in northeast Texas before frost.
‘Rio Verde’ lablab was developed through selection for tolerance to defoliation, forage production potential and Texas seed production. ‘Rio Verde’ was developed at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton, Texas and released by Texas A&M AgriLife Research in 2006. ‘Rio Verde’ is the first lablab cultivar developed in the US and also has the value-added trait of Texas seed production.
‘Rio Verde’ was developed through cooperative research with the following people:
Dr. Bill Ocumpaugh, Texas A&M AgriLife Research – Beeville
Dr. Jim Muir, Texas A&M AgriLife Research – Stephenville
Dr. James Reed, Texas A&M AgriLife Research – Dallas