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Los Lunas Plant Materials Center (NMPMC)
Serving areas in the States of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah

Established: 1937
Size: 80 acres
PMC Operation: NRCS
Land Ownership: New Mexico State University

Ariel view of the Los Lunas Plant Materials CenterThe Los Lunas Plant Materials Center (NMPMC) serves the semi-arid and arid southwest region. Areas served by the Center include Northeast Arizona, Southeast Colorado, New Mexico, and Southeast Utah. Environmental conditions, including low precipitation, high intensity rainfall, wind, extreme topography, and varied land uses, combine to produce a variety of problems needing plant material solutions. Land use is primarily rangeland. Major conservation concerns include erosion and sediment control, range production and improvement, riparian restoration, and abandoned cropland revegetation.

The Center has provided the Southwest with plant solutions for over 70 years, developing new vegetative methods for improving rangeland, native landscaping, riparian restoration, wildlife habitat enhancement, native shrub transplanting, and mine reclamation.

The Los Lunas Plant Materials Center has developed over 30 improved conservation plants including varieties of sideoats grama, alkali sacaton, blue grama, bottlebrush squirreltail, New Mexico olive, and Rocky Mountain narrowleaf penstemon.



Improving riparian ecosystems in the Southwest
  • A Guide for Planning Riparian Treatments in New Mexico, developed in cooperation with New Mexico Soil and Water Conservation Districts, provides technical information for restoring riparian habitat in the Southwest and has served as the foundation for Riparian Workshops.
  • Longstem Transplant Deep Planting outlines techniques for establishing shrubs in arid riparian ecosystems without irrigation that produce success rates of 90% or more.
  • Established riparian plantings that serve as study areas and demonstration plantings for technology development.


Restoring rangeland, croplands, and mine lands
  • Developed 25 grasses and three forbs used for erosion control in the Southwest.
  • Basic Guidelines for Seeding Native Grasses in Arid and Semi-Arid Ecoregions and Seeding Native Grasses in the Arid Southwest provide guidelines for conservation plantings.
  • Provided training on seeding to the NM SWCD, NRCS field offices, non-profit groups, Tribes, and consultants.
  • Promoted the use of selected giant sacaton for vegetative wind striping on New Mexico and Arizona cropland.
  • Latest release ‘Windbreaker”, a cultivar release of giant sacaton (SPWR) for vegetative wind striping on cropland in the Southwest.


Developing plants and plant technologies for urban areas.
  • Developed a drought tolerant blue grama grass variety for urban xeriscaping.
  • Developed a planting method for the arid southwest using tall-pot container stock with a super-absorbent hydrogel that requires irrigation only twice for establishment.
  • The drought tolerant native trees, fragrant ash and single leaf ash, developed for urban conservation.

Los Lunas Plant Materials Center
1036 Miller St., S.W.
Los Lunas, NM 87031
Phone: (505) 865-4684
Fax: (505) 865-5163