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Protocol Information

Joel L. Douglas
Natural Resources Conservation Service - Coffeeville/Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center
2533 County Road 65
Coffeeville, Mississippi 38922-2652
(601) 675-2588
(601) 675-2369

Family Scientific Name: Asteraceae
Scientific Name: Symphyotrichum cordifolium (L.) Nesom
Common Synonym: Aster cordifolius L.
Common Name: Heartleaf aster, Common blue wood aster
Species Code: SYCO4
Ecotype: Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi.
General Distribution: Found from Nova Scotia to Minnesota, south to Georgia and Missouri.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Propagules (seeds, cuttings, poles, etc.)
Propagule Collection: Natchez Trace Parkway, from around Jackson, Mississippi to the terminus in Natchez, Mississippi by B .B. Billingsley, Jr. in 1990.
Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: Seeds were harvested using a vacuum. Pappus attached to the seedsmade direct cleaning with an air screen cleaner difficult. In 1993 seeds were conditioned before cleaning using a brush machine to remove the pappus, which improved purity. However, the process was very time consuming and was not repeated in subsequent years.
Seeds/Kg: 4,400,000.
Germination:In 1993=61%, in 1994=44%.
Purity: In 1993=76%, in 1994=22%.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatments: None required, however, seeds of several aster species germinate more rapidly if stratified (Phillips, 1985; Andersen, 1968).
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Propagation Environment: Greenhouse and field grown.
Container Type and Volume: Seedlings were grown in the greenhouse for planting in the field only. Containers used were cell packs with a 3.8 cmX 6 cm (1.5” X 2.4”) cell size.
Growing Media: Jiffy Mix Plus.
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: September to October.
Emergence and Date: Most seeds germinate in the spring.
Sowing/Planting Technique: Mixed seed with sand and surface applied to plowed areas that had been cultipacked or to areas that had been closely mowed. Rates of 2.24 to 3.36 kilogram PLS per hectare (2 to 3 pounds per acre) would be required to plant a production field.
Establishment Phase: Establishment was fairly poor from direct seeding, so greenhouse grown transplants were used for later plantings.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Harvest Date: Late September to October.
Seed Storage: Normal cool, dry storage. PMC cooler is maintained at 12.7 C (55 F) and 45% relative humidity.
Seed Dormancy: No prolonged dormancy is apparent.
Length of Storage: Storage Duration: Unknown.
Outplanting performance on typical sites: Outplanting Site: Natchez Trace Parkway 3X section and others.
Outplanting Date: 3X section planted in 1994, other sections of the Natchez Trace Parkway were planted in 1996.
Other Comments: Plants overwinter as a rosette. Normally heartleaf aster is found growing in wooded areas, however, the production field was in a more open site. The plants grew vigorously in the open and required staking.
References: Andersen, R. N. 1968. Germination and establishment of weeds for experimental purposes. Weed Science Society of America, W. F. Humphrey Press, Inc., Geneva, INY. 236 p.

Phillips, H.R. 1985. Growing and propagating wildflowers. Univ. of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 330 p.

Grabowski, Janet M. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Symphyotrichum cordifolium (L.) Nesom plants; Natural Resources Conservation Service - Coffeeville/Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center, Coffeeville, Mississippi. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 4 September 2015). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.