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Protocol Information

David J. Horvath
Nursery Manager
Illinois Department of Natural Resources - Mason State Nursery
17855 N. CR 2400E
Topeka, Illinois 61567
309-535-2185
309-535-3286
dhorvath@dnrmail.state.il.us


Family Scientific Name: Fabaceae
Family Common Name: Pea family
Scientific Name: Desmodium illinoense Gray
Common Synonym: Meibomia illinoensis (Gray) Kuntze
Common Name: Illinois Tick Trefoil
Species Code: DESILL
Ecotype: Central Illinois, 650 feet msl elevation
General Distribution: D. illinoense is found from northern Ohio west to South Dakota and south to Texas.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Bareroot (field grown)
Stock Type: 1+0 bareroot
Time To Grow: 10 Months
Target Specifications: Height: n/a, herbaceous perennial.
Caliper: n/a, herbaceous perennial.
Root System: Healthy bareroot system from field grown crop.
Propagule Collection: Seed is collected by hand from nursery stock. The plant flowers from approx. July 6 to August 7. Seed is harvested about August 10.
Propagule Processing: After drying, seed is cleaned by first running it through the Dybvig. Next, run it through the Huller-Scarifier then over the Clipper with a top screen of 8 and a bottom screen of 1/15. Finally, run it through the Jesse Aspirator. This seed can be cleaned to 94% purity with 4,545 seeds per ounce. Field seed is planted in the fall, therefor is not put into cold storage. If unable to plant in the fall due to weather, store the seed dry in cold storage at 34-36 degrees F .
Pre-Planting Treatments: Field seed is not damp stratified due to clumping problems during the drilling process.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Propagation Environment: Field grown in beds.
Propagation Method: Seed sown in 3-4 foot wide, raised beds.
Growing Media: Field grown seed is drilled in 3 or 4 foot wide, raised beds, consisting of a sandy loam.
Total Time to Harvest: Field grown crops take 10-12 months from time of sowing. This figure is increased to 18 months for field grown plants shipped in the spring. Sowing Date: Field grown crops are sown in the fall once the seed is cleaned. Sowing/Planting Technique: Field grown seed is drilled with the Love Seeder at a rate of 5.9 ounces per 45 linear feet. Adjust the drill heights so that the seed is covered only 1 times its depth. The beds should be hydroseeded with a cool-season, annual grass to protect seed over the winter months.
Establishment Phase: Field grown plants should be monitored for germination. If the seed has not germinated by the first week of May, there has been a problem, ie, seed not planted at the correct depth, blown away, or bad seed lot. Weed the field grown plants by hand early to prevent competition.
Length of Establishment Phase: 1 month
Active Growth Phase: Field grown plants are topdressed twice, once in May and once in June with 13-13-13 at a rate of 200 lbs. per acre. This is done after the first true leaves appear. The fertilizer is irrigated in after application. Irrigation is run once or twice a week, depending on weather, and run for one to two hours.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 4 months
Hardening Phase: For field grown plants, reduce irrigation to slow the vegetative growth down in the fall.
Length of Hardening Phase: 1 month
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Harvest Date: Field grown plants are lifted in late September to early November and again in the Spring if need be. The top growth should be mostly died down. Once this occurs, it is helpful to mow the tops to a more manageable size. This aids in the lifting process. Plants are undercut at 7-12 inches prior to lifting. While culling and grading is performed, the roots should be misted occasionally. Storage Conditions: Depending on weather conditions, field grown plants may be lifted and shipped in the fall. However, time and labor may require spring shipment. Field grown stock is also stored in cool, dry storage, above freezing. Remove dead vegetation in the culling process, and place the plants in plastic-lined bags. Do not allow root systems to dry out. Storage Duration: Approximately 4 to 6 months. Field grown bareroot plants may be shipped at any time as long as the receiver has cold storage.
Length of Storage: 4 to 6 months
Outplanting performance on typical sites: Outplanting Site: Illinois prairie sites to include State Parks, highway roadsides, and limited private lands. Prefers mesic prairies.
Outplanting Date: September to November or April to May

Citation:
Blessman, Gary; Horvath, David J.; Flood, Roberta Mountz. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of field-grown Desmodium illinoense Gray plants (1+0 bareroot); Illinois Department of Natural Resources - Mason State Nursery, Topeka, Illinois. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 22 October 2014). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.