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Protocol Information

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

Family Scientific Name: Ranunculaceae
Family Common Name: Buttercup family
Scientific Name: Aquilegia flavescens Wats.
Common Name: Yellow columbine
Species Code: AQUFLA
Ecotype: Subalpine meadows and wet scree slide, Logan Pass
General Distribution: A. flavescens occurs in moist meadows to alpine slopes, from southern B.C. to Washington, east to northeastern Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alberta, Colorado, Utah.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 172 ml container
Time To Grow: 5 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling
Height: 9 cm
Caliper: n/a
Root System: Firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Follicles are collected in late August when they begin to split open. Seeds are easily extracted when follicles dehisce during drying. Seeds are shiny black at maturity. Capsules are kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are hand cleaned at the nursery by shaking seeds out of opened capsules.
Seed longevity is at least 2 years at 3 to 5C in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as morphological dormancy; the embryo is underdeveloped at time of dispersal.
Seeds/Kg: 880,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 27 to 55%
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds are treated with gibberellic acid at 1,000 ppm for 24 hours. Following treatment, seeds are rinsed in running water for 10 minutes and placed into a 60 day cold, moist stratification at 1 to 3 C. Seeds are placed on moist paper towels inserted into an opened plastic bag and are placed under refrigeration.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Greenhouse and outdoor nursery growing facility.
Seeds are lightly covered with perlite.
Growing medium used is 6:1:1 milled sphagnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite with Osmocote controlled release fertilizer (13N:13P2O5:13K2O; 8 to 9 month release rate at 21C) and Micromax fertilizer (12%S, 0.1%B, 0.5%Cu, 12%Fe, 2.5%Mn, 0.05%Mo, 1%Zn) at the rate of 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per 172 ml conetainer.
Greenhouse temperatures are maintained at 21 to 25C during the day and 16 to 18C at night. Seedlings are hand watered and remain in greenhouse until mid May. Seedlings are then moved to outdoor nursery for the remainder of the growing season.
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: Aquilegia seedlings grow more slowly than many other forb species.
Germination can continue over several weeks. Seedlings are thinned at the true leaf stage.
Seedlings must dry down slightly between irrigations.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Once seedlings are established, plants develop rapid shoot and root growth. Seedlings are fertilized with 20-20-20 liquid NPK weekly during the active growth stage. Seedlings can be produced in 8 weeks following germination.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 8 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK in early fall; pots are leached with water, irrigation is gradually reduced through September and October.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest:4.5 months
Harvest Date: July
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Outplanting performance on typical sites: Outplanting Site: Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, MT.
Outplanting Date: July and August
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, Univ. of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1973.

Seed Germination Theory and Practice, Second Edition, Deno, Norman, published 1993.

Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.

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

Luna, Tara; Wick, Dale.; Luna, Tara.; Hosokawa, Joy. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of container Aquilegia flavescens Wats. plants (172 ml container); USDI NPS - Glacier National Park, West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 2 September 2015). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.