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Protocol Information

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

Family Scientific Name: ASTERACEAE
Family Common Name: Sunflower family
Scientific Name: Arnica cordifolia Hook.
Common Synonym: Arnica cordifolia Hook. humilis
Common Name: Heart Leaf Arnica
Species Code: ARNCOR
Ecotype: Subalpine meadows, Logan Pass, Glacier National Park
General Distribution: A. cordifolia is a common cordilleran species, occurring from the foothills to the alpine zone.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 7 Months
Target Specifications: Height: 7 cm, 4 to 6 true leaves
Caliper: n/a
Root System: Firm plug in 160 ml container
Propagule Collection: Seed production under tree canopy is poor. Locate populations in full sun or in open forests or meadows for seed collection. Seeds are hand collected in July and August when achenes are easily separated from receptacle. Seeds are grey at maturity. Seeds are collected in paper bags and kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are cleaned with a hammermill and office clipper at NRCS.
Seed longevity: 3 to 5 years at 1 to 3 C in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as non-deep physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: 990,000/ kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 80 to 90%
Pre-Planting Treatments: 60 day cold, moist stratification. Seeds are imbibed in water for 4 hours and placed in fine mesh bags buried in moist peat moss in ventilated containers under refrigeration at 1 to 3C.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Propagation Environment: Greenhouse 23C day /13C night temperatures.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are lightly covered with medium.
Growing medium used is Promix growing media 6:1:1 sphagnum peat:vermiculite:perlitewith 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. Conetainers are irrigated thoroughly after sowing.
Establishment Phase: Arnica seedlings germinate uniformly at 22C. Cold, moist stratification of high elevation seed sources may increase germination percentages and germination uniformity. However, this may not be necessary for lower elevation seed sources. The seed coat is very thin, and is susceptible to insect damage and rot. Medium is kept slightly moist during germination by misting twice per day. True leves emerge 2 weeks after initial germination and seedlings are thinned at this stage.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Once seedlings are established, plants develop rapid shoot and root growth 2 to 4 weeks following germination. Plants are fertilized with 20-20-20 liquid NPK at 100 ppm weekly 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 in early fall. Containers 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:7 months
Harvest Date: September
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.
Outplanting Survival at 3 years: 93%
Other Comments: There are two botanical varieties in Glacier National Park; var. pumila (subalpine/alpine ecotype), and var. cordifolia (foothill to mid-montane ecotype).
A. cordifolia freely hybrdizes with A. latifolia and other species. A. diversifolia is a described hybrid complex of these species.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, Univ. of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1990.

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

Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.

Wick, Dale; Luna, Tara.; Hosokawa, Joy.; Evans, Jeff.; Corey, Susan. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of container Arnica cordifolia Hook. plants (160 ml conetainers); USDI NPS - Glacier National Park, West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 29 August 2015). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.