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Protocol Information

Jan Schultz
Forest Plant Ecologist
USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest
1030 Wright Street
Marquette, Michigan 49855
906.228.8491
906.228.4484
jschultz@fs.fed.us


Family Scientific Name: Gramineae
Family Common Name: Grass Family
Scientific Name: Hystrix patula Moench
Common Name: Bottlebrush grass
Species Code: HYPA3
General Distribution: Dappled sunlight, rich deciduous woods, mixed woods, riverbanks. Height up to 5 feet (nearly 2 meters). Seedhead reminiscent of a bottlebrush. Spikelets spreading at maturity.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Propagule Collection: Seed is collected by hand from locally native plants within the eastern central Upper Peninsula. Flowers from July to September. The seed is an achene and is harvested September-October.
Propagule Processing: Dry seeds 1-2 weeks in open paper bags or open Rubbermaid-style bins, shaking or turning the seeds heads. Seed is not cleaned. Once seeds have dried begin stratification.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Stratification: Put seeds in a Ziploc-style bag or Rubbermaid-style container. Seal the container and proceed with 1 month of cold stratification in a refrigerator or cold garage. Cold store until planted (up to 3 years).
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Propagation Environment: Greenhouse film is made of Standard U.V. 3 HL Clear 6 mil (J.R. Johnson's Greenhouse Supply Inc.) Fans run continuously to circulate the air. Vents open during the summer months to allow for cooling. Container Type: grows best in 24 cell (2"diameter) 14"x8.5"x4" deep flats. Does not do well in deep and narrow plug cells. Sowing Media: Scotts Redi-earth Plug and Seedling Mix. Contains vermiculite, and sphagnum peat moss. Soil is sterile.

Thoroughly moisten the soil with water, mixing in the water with a trowel. Cover the holes in the bottom/sides of the plug tray cells with newspaper so that the soil does not fall through. Fill cells with damp soil and press soil down with a spoon. Refill the cell plugs with soil to the top, this time not pressing it down. Water the soil in the plug cells again. Sow the seeds by hand at a rate of about 3 seeds in each cell. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Sow year-round due to variable success rates.

Establishment Phase: From January until August the greenhouse thermostat is set at 65 degrees F both day and night. Ambient greenhouse temperatures may reach 100 degrees F during the day in the summer. From Sept. through Dec. the thermostat is set at 55 degrees F. During this season ambient greenhouse temperatures may reach 75 degrees F during the day. Soil is kept consistently damp during germination. Water using a fine mist or light hose setting only. Newly planted trays are placed on the south side of the greenhouse. No artificial light is used.
Active Growth Phase: The soil does not need to be consistently moist. The greenhouse holds plants at all stages of growth so the temperature setting stays the same for all plants at all stages of growth. Plant trays are moved to cooler north greenhouse tables. No fertilizers are used.
Hardening Phase: In early-late spring, mature plants can be moved into a cold frame with a cover of material that diffuses sunlight to prevent scorching of the plants. When danger of frost has passed leave plants outside. Water less frequently.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: In the Upper Peninsula, flats are transplanted into the field from late May to early October. Flats that are not planted in the summer remain in the greenhouse for another season.
Other Comments: Easily germinated, easily outplanted as plugs. Seed heads with long awns. Ornamental.

Citation:
Schultz, Jan; Beyer, Patty.; Williams, Julie. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of container Hystrix patula Moench plants; USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest, Marquette, Michigan. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 23 October 2014). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.