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Protocol Information

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

Family Scientific Name: Scrophulariaceae
Family Common Name: Figwort family
Scientific Name: Penstemon eriantherus Pursh eriantherus Pursh
Common Name: Fuzzytongue penstemon
Species Code: PENERI
Ecotype: Open slope adjacent to fescue grassland, 1580m elev. Lee Creek, Alberta
General Distribution: P. eriantherus occurs from lowlands east of the Cascades through the Northern Great Plains; Central Washington and northeastern Oregon through Idaho, Montana, Alberta and southeastern B.C. It frequently colonizes sandy to gravelly soils on open sides and roadsides.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 9 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling
Height: 6 cm, 6 to 10 true leaves.
Caliper: n/a
Root System: Firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are hand collected in late summer when capsules turn brown and begin to dehisce. Seeds are brown at maturity.
Capsules are collected in paper bags and kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are cleaned with an air screen cleaner by NRCS.
Seed longevity is at least 5 years at 1 to 3C in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: 4,600,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 50 to 75%
Pre-Planting Treatments: 5 month outdoor cold, moist stratification.  
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Outdoor nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are covered with medium.
Growing medium used is 6:1:1 milled sphagnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite with Osmocote controlled release fertilizer (13N:13P2O5:13K2O; 8 to 9 month release rate at 21C) and Micromax fertilizer (12%S, 0.1%B, 0.5%Cu, 12%Fe, 2.5%Mn, 0.05%Mo, 1%Zn) at the rate of 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per conetainer.
Conetainers are filled and sown in late fall and irrigated thoroughly prior to winter stratification.
Seedlings germinate in spring under fluctuating outdoor temperatures and are grown under full sun exposure. Seedlings 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.
Establishment Phase: Germination was very uniform at 21C. True leaves appeared 3 weeks after germination. Once established and thinned after emergence, the seedlings produce rapid shoot and root development.
This species is susceptible to overwatering. After seelings are well establishe, they must dry down between irrigations.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Plants are fertilized with 20-20-20 liquid NPK at 100 ppm during the active growth phase. Plants were root tight 4 months following germination. Plants did not produce flowers the first year.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 12 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK in fall, pots are leached with water, and irrigation frequency is gradually reduced in September and October. One final irrigation is applied before covering for the winter.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 9 months
Harvest Date: September
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam and snow cover.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: P. eriantherus grows in sparsely vegetated, well drained soils in open areas in grasslands.It is an excellent species for roadside restoration.
There are 4 botanical varieties: var. eriantherus, var.redactus, var. argillosus, and var. whitedii.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, Univ. of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1973.

Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.

Seed Germination Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition, Deno, Norman, publ. 1993.

Seeding Rate Statistics for Native and Introduced Species, Hassell, Wendel, National Park Service and National Resources Conservation Service, April 1996.

Flora of Glacier National Park, Lesica, P., at press, 1999.

Wick, Dale; Luna, Tara.; Evans, Jeff. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of container Penstemon eriantherus Pursh eriantherus Pursh plants (160 ml conetainers); USDI NPS - Glacier National Park, West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 1 August 2015). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.