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Protocol Information

John M. Englert
Natural Resources Conservation Service - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center
Bldg. 509, BARC - East, E. Beaver Dam Road
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
(301) 504-8175
(301) 504-8741
john.englert@wdc.usda.gov
http://plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov/mdpmc/


Family Scientific Name: Poaceae
Family Common Name: Grass Family
Scientific Name: Tridens flavus (L.) AS. Hitchc.
Common Name: Purpletop Widens
Species Code: TRIFLA
Ecotype: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, 1400-1800’ elevation, The Sinks, Cades Cove; Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Kentucky, Sugar Run; Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, Skyline Drive
General Distribution: Tridens flavus grows in fields, roadsides, and open woods from New Hampshire to Nebraska and south to Florida and Texas.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Stock Type: Container plugs
Time To Grow: 12 Weeks
Target Specifications: Height: 8-10” after cutbacks; multiple stems.
Root System: Full, firm plug which leaves no loose soil when pulled.
Propagule Collection: Collected in Great Smoky Mountains National Park by NPS staff on 9/19/94 and 10/14/99; Cumberland Gap National Historical Park by NPS staff on 10/15/91; Shenandoah National Park by J. Englert on 10/21/92; National Plant Materials Center by D. Dusty on 10/22-24/96, 10/20-30/97 and 10/2-7/98.
Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: Seeds are harvested from our production field with a combine, and are cleaned using a 2-screen seed clipper.
Seed storage: In seed bags in cooler @ 40F, 35% relative humidity.
Seeds/Kg: 900,000.
Germination: 66% average (test) Germination in greenhouse has varied from 2-5%, and 18 to 70 plugs per gram of seed sown. Production goals are met by increasing rate of seeding and second sowings.
Purity: 87.51% average.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatments: T. flaws seed may take 30 to 49 days to germinate. 3-4 weeks of cold stratification @ 40 F may improve germination, but probably not enough to warrant the extra time in the cooler. In February, 2000, after 2 weeks under mist and on heat mats with little germination, unstratified plug trays were covered with clear, lightweight plastic and exposed to full sunlight in the greenhouse. Media was kept continually moist. Germination occurred rapidly (within 7-10 days). Production increased from 19 to 40 plugs per gram of seed. Direct sunlight appeared to help since plastic-covered flats protected from full sun did not germinate well. Bottom heat (@ 80 F) and mist did not increase speed or % of germination. Seeds sown on blotter under mist failed to germinate.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Propagation Environment: Greenhouse with alternating day/night temperatures (set at 75/68F) and 12-14 hours of daylight extended with high-pressure sodium lights
Seed Propagation Method: hand sown in germination plug trays.
Container Type and Volume: Seeds are sown in 392 plug trays; seedlings are transplanted to either 72 plug trays or Ropak multipots depending whether out-planted with a planter or hand-dibbled.
Growing Media: Seeds are sown in Fafard Germinating Mix. Seedlings are transplanted into a 2:1 mix of Sunshine #5:Compro, (1 bale Sunshine, 2 bags Compro) with 180 day Nutricote Total 18-6-8 SR incorporated @ 0.15lb/cu ft mix. Compro is used to prevent chlorosis, which may occur in warm season seedlings grown in soilless media. Other organic substitutes for Compro are being evaluated.
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: December or January depending on outplanting date.
Emergence and Date: See “seed treatments”.
Sowing/Planting Technique: Seeds are hand-sown heavily into 392 plug trays at a rate computed to produce target number of plugs and compensate for low germination rate. Seeds are lightly covered with germination mix, and watered. See “Seed Treatment”.
Establishment Phase: Seedlings in germination trays are kept continually moist. They are transplanted to 72 plug flats or Ropak multipots, usually when plugs can be pulled, however seedlings have been dug and transplanted within several days of germination resulting in more uniform maturation of plugs. Avoid over-watering transplants.
Active Growth Phase: Rapid Growth Phase: T. flavus plugs grow rapidly after transplant when greenhouse solar levels increase in the spring (March). Plugs are cut back periodically to 6-8” to enhance root and stem growth and to manually eliminate insect pests. Plugs are fertilized as needed (or every 1-2 weeks) with Technigro 16-17-17 Plus, @ 100 ppm.
Hardening Phase: Hardening Phase: 2-3 weeks prior to out-planting, fertilization is stopped, water is decreased, and greenhouse temperatures are reduced or plugs are moved outdoors.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: About l0-12 weeks from germination to finished plug. If second sowings are required to meet goal, staggered maturation of plugs will result.
Harvest Date: Plugs are ready for out-planting about 10-12 weeks after seedlings germinate.
Storage Conditions: N/A - Plugs are seeded in winter and planted the same spring.
Length of Storage: Storage Duration: N/A.
Outplanting performance on typical sites: Outplanting Site: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Shenandoah National Park, USDA-NRCS National Plant Materials Center, Beltsville, Maryland.
Outplanting Date: Spring, early summer.
Other Comments: Low germination of seed in the greenhouse (between 2 and 5%) has required extremely heavy sowing to produce the park target of 2,000—4,000 plugs. Covering trays with plastic and exposing to full sun in the greenhouse may help. Have not tried starting plugs in summer and over-wintering established plugs in storage for spring out-planting.
References: Manual of the Grasses of the United States, Hitchcock, 2nd edition, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950.

Citation:
Davis, Kathy M.; Kujawski, Jennifer L. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of container Tridens flavus (L.) AS. Hitchc. plants (Container plugs); Natural Resources Conservation Service - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center, Beltsville, Maryland. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 21 April 2014). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.
 

Protocol Information

Joel L. Douglas
Natural Resources Conservation Service - Coffeeville/Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center
2533 County Road 65
Coffeeville, Mississippi 38922-2652
(601) 675-2588
(601) 675-2369
jdouglas@ms.nrcs.usda.gov
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/plan


Family Scientific Name: Poaceae
Scientific Name: Tridens flavus (L.) A.S. Hitche.
Common Name: Purpletop
Species Code: TRFL2
General Distribution: Native range extends from New Hampshire to Nebraska, south to Florida and Texas.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Propagules (seeds, cuttings, poles, etc.)
Propagule Collection: Collected in Natchez Trace Parkway (actual collection location was not noted - designated collection area was the lower section of the Natchez Trace Parkway, from around Jackson, Mississippi to the terminus in Natchez, Mississippi) by B.B. Billingsley, Jr. in 1991.
Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: Direct combined or stripped with a flail-vacuum harvester and cleaned using an air screen cleaner. Seeds can also be hulled for ease of planting, but this operation was not done at the PMC.
Seeds/Kg: 1,025,000.
Germination: In 1993=89% and in 1994=69%.
Purity: In 1993=96% and in 1994=94%.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatments: Seeds have an absolute requirement for stratification. Reports from the local seed test laboratory showed 0% germination, however, when seeds from the same seed lot were stratified, high germination percentages resulted. A three month stratification period was used, however, periods as short as two weeks appear to be sufficient to overcome dormancy.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Propagation Environment: Field.
Seed Propagation Method: Direct sown.
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: August to September. The PMC had some success with spring planting hulled seed, but fall planting is much safer due to the dormancy problem discussed earlier.
Emergence and Date: Seeds will not germinate until the spring following sowing.
Sowing/Planting Technique: Seed can be drilled shallowly in clean tilled fields or broadcast on the surface of mowed areas. Planting rates of 11.2 to 15.7 kilograms PLS per hectare (10 to 14 pounds PLS per acre) are recommended.
Establishment Phase: Stands are slow to establish and may take a few years to become fully productive.
Active Growth Phase: Rapid Growth Phase: Plants begin to elongate to produce seed heads in late summer.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Harvest Date: Late October to early November.
Total Time to Harvest: 12 to 13 months.
Seed Storage: Normal cool, dry storage. PMC cooler is maintained at 12.7º C (55º F) and 45% relative humidity.
Storage Duration: Seeds would be classified as having medium longevity (Hartmann and Kester, 1975). Seeds were stored for 1 to 3 years before planting on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Length of Storage: Storage Duration: 1-3 years.
Outplanting performance on typical sites: Outplanting Site: Natchez Trace Parkway 3X section and others.
Outplanting Date: 3X section planted in 1994, other sections of the Natchez Trace Parkway were planted in 1996.
Other Comments: Yields up to 448 kilogram per hectare (400 pounds per acre) of high quality seed can occur from row planted fields.

Citation:
Grabowski, Janet M. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Tridens flavus (L.) A.S. Hitche. plants; Natural Resources Conservation Service - Coffeeville/Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center, Coffeeville, Mississippi. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 21 April 2014). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.