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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: Asteraceae
Family Common Name: Sunflower family
Scientific Name: Silphium laciniatum L.
Common Name: Compass Plant
Species Code: SILLAC
Ecotype: Central Illinois, 650 feet msl elevation
General Distribution: S. laciniatum is found from Ohio to Alabama west to the Great Plains states.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Bareroot (field grown)
Stock Type: 1+0 bareroot
Time To Grow: 12 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. June 27 to August 20. Seed is harvested about August 25.
Propagule Processing: After drying, run the seed through the Dybvig, dry, then over the Clipper with a top screen of 25 and a bottom screen of 9 to 13. The last step is to run the seed through the Jessee Aspirator with both vents wide open.
This seed can cleaned to 48% purity with 1,148 seeds per ounce.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Field seed is planted in the fall, therefore is not put into cold storage.
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: Compass plant seed is sown by hand at a rate of 6.4 ounces per 45 linear feet. Mix the seed with equal amounts of vermiculite to aid in sowing. Broadcast this mix in furrows and then cover the seed with soil the same thickness as the seed. 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:
Flood, Roberta Mountz; Blessman, Gary.; Horvath, David J. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of field-grown Silphium laciniatum L. plants (1+0 bareroot); Illinois Department of Natural Resources - Mason State Nursery, Topeka, Illinois. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 20 August 2014). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.