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Protocol Information

Native Plant Nursery
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835


Family Scientific Name: Poaceae
Family Common Name: Grass Family
Scientific Name: Hierochloe odorata (L.) Beauv.
Common Synonym: Torresia odorata (L.) A.S. Hitchc.
Common Name: Sweet grass
Species Code: HIEODO
Ecotype: Moist meadows, Sweet Grass Hills, Liberty Co., MT.
General Distribution: Sweetgrass is a fragrant, rhizomatous perennial with culms that are usually red to purple at the base. Two types of leaf blade are present: 3-cm-long fertile stems that emerge early in the growing season, and 30- to 60-cm-long sterile stems that appear later in the summer. Sweetgrass seldom produces flowering stalks. The pyramidal shaped inflorescence appears in spring and early summer and consists of several shiny, bronze-colored spikelets. Each spikelet is surrounded by transparent, membranous glumes, which fall soon after maturation. Three flowers are borne in each spikelet but only one produces a seed. It is a circumboreal species that grows in moist prairie grasslands and montane to subalpine meadows, wetland margins, sloughs and streambanks. In North America, it is found from Alaska to Labrador, south to Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and through the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico; also east to South Dakota, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Vegetative
Product Type: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 800 ml containers
Time To Grow: 6 Weeks
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container divisions
Height: 6 to 10 true leaves; 23 cm
Caliper: n/a
Root System: firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Rhizome divisions were separated from established nursery plants.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Rhizome divisions with at least 3 leaf bud shoots per rhizome are divided from nursery stock and planted into individual containers.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Vegetative Propagation Method: Divisions.
Outdoor nursery growing facility.
Divisions are irrigated with Rainbird automatic irrigation system in early morning until containers are thoroughly leached. Average growing season of nursery is from late April after snowmelt until October 15th. First average frost is September 5th, although freezing temperatures can be expected anytime in Glacier National Park.
Establishment Phase: Rhizome sections are divided in June and transplantd into using 800ml (49 cubic inch) square containers using Promix #1 potting media (3:1 peat:perlite) with 4 grams of 13:13:13 N:P:K (Osmocote) controlled release fertilizer and 2 grams of micronutrient fertilizer per 800 ml container.
Length of Establishment Phase: 2 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Plants are irrigated frequently throughout the growing season and are root tight 6 weeks after initial division.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 5 weeks
Hardening Phase: Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants are leached with clear water before winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 6 weeks from divisions.
Harvest Date: July
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Outplanting performance on typical sites: Sweetgrass requires a suitably moist site in full sum to partial shade for establishment.
Other Comments: Seed propagation:
Seeds/Kg: 2,200,000/kg 
% Germination: 24%
% Purity: 100%
Seed Processing: Seeds are collected when florets turn to tan and papery. Fill rates are very low with this species.
Seed longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seed Treatments: cold moist stratification. Seeds are placed in moistened paper towels and placed in opened plastic bags under refrigeration at 3C.
A minimum of a 30 day stratification is recommended for adequate germination. Germination occurs at 21C.
Sowing/Planting Technique: Manual hand sowing; seeds are covered with medium. Germination %: 23%
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, 7th edition, University of Washington Press, 1973.

Seeding Rate Statistics for Native and Introduced Species, Hassell, Wendel, U.S.D.I. and U.S.D.A., April 1996.

Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.

Seed Germination Theory and Practice, Deno, Norman, Penn State University, 1993.

Glacier National Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.

Citation:
Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff.; Hosokawa, Joy.; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for vegetative production of container Hierochloe odorata (L.) Beauv. plants (800 ml containers); USDI NPS - Glacier National Park, West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 28 November 2014). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.
 

Protocol Information

Susan Winslow
Agronomist
Natural Resources Conservation Service - Bridger Plant Materials Center
RR 1
Bridger, Montana 59014
Susan.Winslow@mt.usda.gov
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/plan


Family Scientific Name: Poaceae
Family Common Name: Grass family
Scientific Name: Hierochloe odorata (L.) Beauv.
Common Name: Sweetgrass
Species Code: HIEODO
Ecotype: Sweetgrass Hills, Montana
General Distribution: H. odorata is a circumboreal species that grows in moist prairie grasslands and montane to subalpine meadows, streambanks, and sloughs. In North America it is found from Alaska to Labrador, south to Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and through the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico; also east to South Dakota, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. Ot os not found in pure stands, but among other grasses, sedges, forbs, and shrubs in mid-successional communities.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Bareroot (field grown), Propagules (seeds, cuttings, poles, etc.)
Time To Grow: 12 Months
Target Specifications: Height: 30 to 38 cm
Caliper: n/a
Propagule Collection: Sweetgrass inconsistently produces seeds. Seeds can be collected in late summer.
Propagule Processing: Seeds/kg:2,400,000/kg
Pre-Planting Treatments: Sweetgrass is a cool season species and its seeds require a period of cold temperatures before they germinate. Late fall, late winter and early spring are the best times to sow seeds.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Prepare the field site in advance of planting. Soil should be free of weeds, loose and friable, raked or smoothed to a level, clump-free grade, rolled or packed firmly, and evenly moistened to a depth of 5 to 7.5 cm with a sprinkler or hand held nozzle.

Seeds can be dribbled in rows or broadcast to achieve optimum plant density of 140 plants/m2 after germination. after seeding, it is important to re-roll or pack the site to ensure seed-to-soil contact.

The tiny seeds are easily washed away so immediately follow with a light watering. Keep the area moist until seedling emergence.

Establishment Phase: Seedlings emerge in 10 to 14 days. Wait until seedlings are well estblished (10 to 15 cm tall) before beginning routine weeding.
Length of Establishment Phase: 1 month
Active Growth Phase: Sweetgrass prefers moist sites so regularly water the site. Fertilization is not recommended the first year. In subsequent years, apply a low analysis balanced granular fertilizer at a rate of 1.5 kg N per 1000 m2 in early spring.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 3 months
Hardening Phase: Plan the final harvest of leaves in late summer so there is adequete time for the plants to preare for the onset of winter. Failure to allow grass the natural hardening off eventually leads to lower longer term persistence and survival of the stand.
Length of Hardening Phase: 1 to 2 months
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Bareroot stock can be lifted in spring for transplanting into suitable sites. Rhizomes can be harvested anytime for transplants into containers grown in the greenhouse.
Other Comments: Sweet grass is easily propagated by divisions of established nursery stock maintained in 170 ml or 3L containers filled with an all purpose, well drained growing medium.

Plants grow rapidly under greenhouse conditions maintained at 22C day and 16C night. Plants are fertilized weekly with 9N:45P2O5:15K20 at 100 ppm N.
Plants are root tight in 3 months and are moved to outdoor shade house to harden off prior to planting.

References: Propagation Protocol for Hierochloe odorata: Sweetgrass, Winslow, S. Native Plants Journal Fall 2000, 1:102-103.

Citation:
Winslow, Susan 2001. Propagation protocol for production of field-grown Hierochloe odorata (L.) Beauv. plants; Natural Resources Conservation Service - Bridger Plant Materials Center, Bridger, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 28 November 2014). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.
 

Protocol Information

Jan Schultz
Forest Plant Ecologist
USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest
1030 Wright Street
Marquette, Michigan 49855
906.228.8491
906.228.4484
jschultz@fs.fed.us


Family Scientific Name: Gramineae
Family Common Name: Grass Family
Scientific Name: Hierochloe odorata (L.) Beauv.
Common Name: Sweet grass
Species Code: HIOD
General Distribution: Edges of woods, shores, meadows, boggy places, usually in moist ground, locally abundant and spreading. Attractive spring-flowering grass, with fragrant vanilla scented foliage.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Propagule Collection: Seed is collected by hand from locally native plants within the eastern central Upper Peninsula. Flowers from April to July. Seed is an achene and is collected from July to August.
Propagule Processing: Dry seeds for 1-2 weeks in open paper bags or open Rubbermaid-style bins, hand stripping the seed heads. Seed is not cleaned. Once seeds have dried begin stratification.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Stratification: Use a Ziploc-style bag or a small Rubbermaid-style container to mix an equal amount of seeds with either perlite or vermiculite. Add a small amount of water. (There should be no visible water in the bag or container). Place in a refrigerator or cold garage (33-42 degrees F) for one month. Longer stratification may increase germination. Cold store until planted (up to 3 years).
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Propagation Environment: Greenhouse film is made of Standard U.V. 3 HL Clear 6 mil (J.R. Johnson's Greenhouse Supply Inc.) Fans run continuously to circulate the air. Vents open during the summer months to allow for cooling. Container Type: Grows best in 24 cell (2" diameter), 14"x8.5"x4" deep. Sweet grass will also grow successfully in a variety of other plug cell sizes and shapes. Growing Media: Scotts Redi-earth Plug and Seedling Mix. Contains vermiculite, and sphagnum peat moss. Soil is sterile.

Thoroughly moisten the soil with water, mixing in the water with a trowel. Cover the holes in the bottom/sides of the plug tray cells with paper. Fill cells with damp soil and press soil down with a spoon. Refill the cell plugs with soil to the top, this time not pressing it down. Water the soil in the plug cells again. Sow the seeds by hand at a rate of about 3 seeds in each small cell and 5 seeds in each large cell. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil or gently press the seeds into the dirt. Sow year-round due to variable success rates.

Establishment Phase: From Jan. until Aug. the greenhouse is set at 65 degrees F both day and night. Ambient greenhouse temperatures may reach 100 degrees F during the day in the summer. From Sept. through Dec. the thermostat is set at 55 degrees F. During this season ambient greenhouse temperatures may reach 75 degrees F during the day. The greenhouse holds plants at all stages of growth so the temperature setting stays the same for all plants at all stages of growth. Soil is kept consistently damp during germination. Water using a fine mist or light hose setting only. Newly planted trays are placed on the south side of the greenhouse. No artificial light is used.
Active Growth Phase: The soil does not need to be consistently moist. Move trays to cooler north greenhouse tables. No fertilizers are used.
Hardening Phase: In early-late spring, mature plants can be moved into a cold frame with a cover of material that diffuses sunlight to prevent scorching of the plants. When danger of frost has passed leave plants outside. Plugs in this phase do not need to be watered as much as in the other stages.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: In the Upper Peninsula, flats are planted from late May to early October. Flats that are not planted in the summer remain in the greenhouse for another season.
Other Comments: Flowers and seed are ornamental.

Citation:
Schultz, Jan; Beyer, Patty.; Williams, Julie. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of container Hierochloe odorata (L.) Beauv. plants; USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest, Marquette, Michigan. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 28 November 2014). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.