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Protocol Information

Martin van der Grinten
Natural Resources Conservation Service - Big Flats Plant Materials Center
RD #1, Route 352, Box 360A
Corning, New York 14830-0360
(607) 562-8404
(607) 562-8516

Family Scientific Name: Asteraceae
Family Common Name: Composite
Scientific Name: Aster macrophyllus L.
Common Name: Bigleaf aster
Species Code: ASMA2
Ecotype: Mt. Desert Island, Maine
General Distribution: Distribution:The range of Large-leaved Aster is from Quebec to Minnesota and south to Georgia. Found in semi-shaded areas or dry woods.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 6
Time To Grow: 1 Years
Target Specifications: Stock Type: plant plugs, 1" x 1" x 4" cell size.
Height: Approximately 6 inches. Herbaceous perennial.
Caliper: N/A.
Root System: Firm root plug for a greenhouse crop plant.
Propagule Collection: Collected in Acadia National Park, Maine.

Collector/Date: Collected by Martin van der Grinten during September/October by hand harvesting.

Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: Allow the seed heads to dry and the parachutes begin to open. Then for hand harvested seed, all the harvested material is hammer- milled and run on a Clipper (office model) seed cleaning machine, using 1/18 round top screen, blank bottom screen an air 25% open. When the seed is harvested by combine from production fields, it is laid on tarps and allowed to completely dry. Once dry, the material is run through the hammermill with a 1/8 round screen. The next step is to run the material across a Clipper M2B seed cleaner, with 1/18 round top screen, blank bottom screen and the air 25% open. One year, started with a harvest weight of 36 pounds and the processed material/seed weighed 2.2 pounds.
Seeds/Kg: 1,216,000 seeds per pound.
%Germination: 12%.
%Purity: 86%.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatment: None.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Propagation Environment: greenhouse for seeding at 70° F and lathe house for growing and hardening off.
Seed Propagation Method: Plants grown in Rootrainers. The Rootrainer (bookplanter) allows the plug to be removed by the root system. Nice plants have also been grown in 6 inch pots.
Container Type and Volume: Rootrainers. 1" x 1" x 4" cell size.
Growing Media: Metro-Mix 360 media.
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: Start plants in greenhouse in late February for spring planting.
Sowing/Planting Technique: Hand sowing with light layer of Metro-Mix 360 applied on top after seeding, followed by a through watering. Try to sprinkle 4 or 5 seeds per cell.
Establishment Phase: Rootrainers need to be watered regularly. Germination is relatively uniform. Greenhouse temperature should be 70° F.
Active Growth Phase: Rapid Growth Phase: Monitor watering. Fertilization with Miracle-Gro can be applied. Plants should be thinned to 2 plants per cell.
Hardening Phase: Hardening Phase: The Rootrainers are moved from greenhouse to outside lathe house prior to being transplanted in early spring.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Harvest Date: Harvested in September/October.
Storage Conditions: Store dry seed in cooler at 40° F.
Outplanting performance on typical sites: Outplanting Site: Acadia National Park.
Outplanting Date: Transplant in spring/early summer.
References: Growing and Propagating Wildflowers in U.S. and Canada, by William Cullina of New England Wildflower Society.

Newcomb's Wildflower Guide, by Lawrence Newcomb, Little Brown and Company, 1977.

van der Grinten, Martin 2001. Propagation protocol for production of container Aster macrophyllus L. plants (6); Natural Resources Conservation Service - Big Flats Plant Materials Center, Corning, New York. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 30 August 2015). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.