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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 umbellatus P. Mill.
Common Name: White flat-topped Aster
Species Code: ASUM
Ecotype: Mt. Desert Island, Maine
General Distribution: The range of flat-topped Aster is from Newfoundland to Minnesota and Illinois, and south to Georgia. Found in open fields and borders of wetter areas.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Plant plugs, 1" x 1" x 4" cell size.
Height: Approximately 6 inches. Herbaceous perennial.
Root System: Firm root plug for a greenhouse crop plant.
Propagule Collection: Collected in Acadia National Park, Maine by Martin van der Grinten in September/October by hand harvest.
Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: Allow the seed heads to dry and the parachutes to 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 and the 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 thehammermill with a 1/8 round screen. Then the material is run across the Clipper M2B seed cleaner, using 1/12 round top screen, 1/24 round bottom with the air 25% open. A second run can be made, using a 1/15 round top screen, 038 round bottom screen and no air. The combine harvest weight was 2.5 pounds and the processed material/seed was .2 pounds.Seeds/Kg: N/A%Germination: Seed germination was 15%.%Purity: Seed test results had 87% pure seed .
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatments: None.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Propagation Environment: Greenhouse for seeding at 70ºF 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 to 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 the greenhouse to outside lathe house prior to being transplanted in early spring.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Harvest Date: 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 umbellatus P. Mill. plants; Natural Resources Conservation Service - Big Flats Plant Materials Center, Corning, New York. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 31 August 2015). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.