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Protocol Information

Native Plant Nursery
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835

Family Scientific Name: Polemoniaceae
Family Common Name: Phlox family
Scientific Name: Polemonium viscosum Nutt.
Common Name: Sky pilot
Species Code: POLVIS
Ecotype: Alpine fellfield, scree slope, Scenic Point, Two Medicine, Glacier National Park, Glacier Co., MT. 2200m elevation.
General Distribution: P. viscosum is an alpine species that occurs from southwest Alberta to northern New Mexico, the Wallowa mountains of northeast Oregon, Okanogan Co., Washington, and the mountains of central Nevada.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 10 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling
Height: 4 to 6 true leaves, 4 cm
Caliper: n/a
Root System: firm plug in conetainer.
Propagule Collection: Collect mature capsules in late August when they begin to split and turn tan in color. Seeds are black at maturity.
Seeds are collected in paper bags and kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are hand cleaned at the nursery.
Seed longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: 2,300,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: N/A
Pre-Planting Treatments: 5 month outdoor cold, moist stratification.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Outdoor nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are covered with medium.
Growing medium used is 1:1:1 mix of sand:gravel:promix with the addition of lime. Conetainers are filled and sown in late fall and irrigated thoroughly prior to winter stratification.
Seedlings germinate in spring under fluctuating outdoor temperatures and are grown under full sun exposure.
Seedlings are irrigated with Rainbird automatic irrigation system in early morning until containers are thoroughly leached.
Average growing season of nursery is from late April after snowmelt until October 15th.
Establishment Phase: Medium is kept slightly moist during germination. Seeds germinated over a 3 week period during spring under fluctuating temperatures. True leaves appeared 2 weeks after germination. This species produces a long and extensive taproot shortly after germination.
After seedlings are established, it is important to allow them to dry down betweeen irrigations.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Root development occurs rapidly following germination. Seedlings have 4 to 6 true leaves 6 weeks after germination.
Plants were fertilized with 13-13-13- NPK at 75 ppm fertilizer during the growing season.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 12 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK at 200 ppm during August and September. Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants were given one final irrigation prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 10 months
Harvest Date: August
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: This species produces a well-branched taproot and a tight caudex of several ramets.
Additional plants could be propagated by dividing ramets from established nursery stock.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, 7th edition, University of Washington Press, 1973.

Seeding Rate Statistics for Native and Introduced Species, Hassell, Wendel, U.S.D.I. and U.S.D.A., April 1996.

Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.

Seed Germination Theory and Practice, Deno, Norman, Penn State University, 1993.

Glacier National Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.

Luna, Tara; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of container Polemonium viscosum Nutt. plants (160 ml conetainers); USDI NPS - Glacier National Park, West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 27 August 2015). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.