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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: Compositae
Family Common Name: Aster Family
Scientific Name: Aster ciliolatus Lindley
Common Name: Lindley's aster
Species Code: ASCI
General Distribution: Dry to moist deciduous mix and conifer woods, especially in clearings and along borders, including adjacent roads, trails, fields, disturbed ground, dune ridges and rocky gravel. Long blue to purple rays and large heads will easily separate this spp. from A. sagittifolius
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Propagule Collection: Seed is collected by hand from locally native plants in the eastern central Upper Peninsula. Flowers from Aug. to Sept. Seed is an achene and is harvested from September to early November.
Propagule Processing: Dry seeds for 1-2 weeks in open paper bags or open Rubbermaid-style bins, shaking or turning the seed heads. Seed is not cleaned. Once the seeds have been dried begin stratification.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Stratification: Mix the seeds with an equal amount of moist perlite or vermiculite in a sealable plastic bag or Rubbermaid-style container. Seal and put in a refrigerator or garage (35 to 42 degrees F) for 1-2 months. 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 for cooling. Container Type: Grows best in 24 cell (2"diameter) 14"x8.5"x4" deep flats with 2" diameter or more and depths of 4" or more. Sowing 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 newspaper so that the soil does not fall out. 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 1 seed in each small cell and 2 seeds in each cell with a diameter greater than 2.5". Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil or gently press the seeds ino the dirt. Sow year-round due to unpredictable germination

Establishment Phase: From Jan. until Aug. the greenhouse thermostat 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. thru 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. Water less frequently.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: In the Upper Peninsula, flats are planted from late May to early October. Flats that are not planted in teh summer remain in the greenhouse for another season.
Other Comments: Seed viability is somewhat variable with many Aster species.

Citation:
Schultz, Jan; Beyer, Patty.; Williams, Julie. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of container Aster ciliolatus Lindley plants; USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest, Marquette, Michigan. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 21 October 2014). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.