Untitled Page
About Us
Propagation Protocol Database
Subscribe to Native Plant Journal
Print View

Protocol Information

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

Family Scientific Name: Iridaceae
Family Common Name: Iris family
Scientific Name: Iris missouriensis Nutt.
Common Name: Blue flag iris
Species Code: IRIMIS
Ecotype: East Glacier Park, MT.
General Distribution: I. missouriensis grows in moist meadows and along streambanks, often where becoming dry by mid summer. It ranges from B.C. to southern California, east to the northern Great Plains, and south to northern Mexico.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 300 ml Deepots
Time To Grow: 2 Years
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling
Height: 6 to 10 true leaves; 30 cm
Caliper: n/a
Root System: firm plug with developed rhizome in container.
Propagule Collection: Collect mature capsules when they begin to split and turn light tan in color. Seeds are red to brown at maturity. Capsules are collected in paper bags and kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are easily removed from open capsules and screened to remove chaff.
Seed longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: 44,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 50%
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds are are placed in a 5 month outdoor cold, moist stratification.
A second seed lot was artificially cold, moist stratified for 120 days at 2C. Germination began at 100 days during stratification. Germinants were planted into containers and grown under cool temperaturs (15 to 19 C) in a greenhouse.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Outdoor Nursery or under temperature controlled greenhouse.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds were covered with medium. However, Deno indicates that fresh seeds have a light requirement and must be surface sown following stratification.
Growing medium used is 6:1:1 milled spaghnum 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 3 grams of Osmocote and 1.5 gram of Micromax per conetainer.
Establishment Phase: Seeds that were fall sown germinate in early spring under cool, fluctuating outdoor temperatures.
Seeds that were artifically stratified were planted as germinants. Seeds germinated while in stratification at 2C. Germinants were planted into containers and grown under cool greenhouse temperatures.
Medium is kept slightly moist during germination. Germination was very non uniform and continued over 4 weeks. Germination ceased when temperatures were higher than 21C during the day. Seedlings had developed 1 true leaf 3 weeks after germination.
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.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 Weeks
Active Growth Phase: Root and shoot development occur at a moderate rate following germination. Seedlings were fertlized with liquid 20-20-20 NPK weekly during active growth. Seedlings begin to go dormant in late summer. During this time, seedlings receive less frequent irrigation. Seedlings had developed 4 to 6 true leaves and were root tight by the end of the 2nd growing season.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 16 Weeks
Hardening Phase: Seedlings naturally become dormant by late summer. During fall months, seedlings are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK at 200 ppm once every 2 weeks. Seedling were given one final irrigation prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 Weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 2 years
Harvest Date: September of the second year.,br> Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Vegetative Propagation Method: Rhizomes can be divided to increase nursery stock.
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.

Cox, Robin; Evans, Jeff.; Luna, Tara.; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of container Iris missouriensis Nutt. plants (300 ml Deepots); USDI NPS - Glacier National Park, West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 3 September 2015). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.