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Vaccinium (membranaceum)

Tara Luna
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835

Family Scientific Name: Ericaceae
Family Common Name: Heath Family
Scientific Name: Vaccinium membranaceum Dougl. Ex Hook.
Common Synonym: Vaccinium globulare Rydb.
Common Name: Globe huckleberry
Species Code: VACMEM
Ecotype: Lodgepole pine forest, West Glacier, 1050m elev. Glacier National Park, Flathead Co., MT
General Distribution: V. membranaceum is found from eastern Washington and Oregon, east to Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming at lower to mid elevations in the mountains.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 800 ml containers
Time To Grow: 2 Years
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container cutting<br> Height: 6 cm<br> Caliper: 4 mm<br> Root System: firm plug in 800 ml (4.5 inch) pot.
Propagule Collection: Vegetative Propagation Method: Pre-Rooting
Type of Cutting: Summer softwood stem cuttings are taken in late June.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings are kept moist and under refrigeration prior to pre treatment.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Cuttings were re-cut and terminal buds were removed. Cuttings were 10 to 15 cm in length and 5 mm in diameter, and treated with 2,000 ppm liquid IBA. Cuttings were placed in 1:1 (v:v)peat: perlite rooting medium in mistbed with bottom heat.
Rooting %: 8%
Softwood cuttings had significantly higher number and quality of roots compared to semi-hardwood cuttings taken one month earlier. Semi-hardwood cuttings had 7% rooting average. No callus formation occurred on either cutting type. Higher concentrations of IBA should be tried using cuttings with 2 yr old wood.
Vaccinium species form relationship with ericoid mycorrhizal fungi. Cuttings may benefit from inoculation during rooting.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
The outdoor mistbed has automatic intermittent mist that is applied at 6 second intervals every 6 minutes. Too frequent misting will result in leaf and stem rot. Misting frequency is increased or decreased according to daily outdoor temperature and wind. Bottom heat is maintained at 21C with heating cables 12 cm beneath rooting medium. Rooting medium is 50% perlite and 50% sand. Mistbed is covered with shadecloth during rooting. After cuttings are potted, they are moved to an outdoor shadehouse for 4 weeks. They are later moved to full sun exposure in the outdoor nursery and are irrigatedwith 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 avereage frost is September 5th, although freezing temperatures can be expected anytime in Glacier National Park.
Establishment Phase: Cuttings that were pre rooted were lifted out of mistbed after adequete root systems were formed.
Length of Establishment Phase: 14 weeks
Active Growth Phase: After cuttings were lifted from the mistbed, they were potted into 800 ml containers. Growing medium used is 70% 6:1:1 milled spaghnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite and 30% sand 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 0.5 gram of Micromax per conetainer. Cuttings were irrigated after potting and placed in the shadehouse for 4 weeks. After establishment in the shadehouse, plants were moved to full sun exposure in the outdoor nursery.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 4 weeks 1st year, 16 weeks second year
Hardening Phase: Plants are irrigated thoroughly prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 2 to 3 years
Harvest Date: September

Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Seed Propagation:
Seeds/Kg: 11,600,000 / kg
Seed Processing: The fruit is collected in August. Seeds are tan at maturity. Seeds are cleaned by a macerator and screened.
Seed Storage is up to 12 years at 1 to 3C in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as non dormant.
Seed treatments: Seed is surface sown on finely milled peat and kept moist. Seed requireslight for germination.A brief stratification may increase overall germination.Seeds germinate 16 to 21 days after sowing.
Other Methods Of Vegetative Propagation:
Rhizomes of field plants can be dug in spring or fall by cutting rhizome sections into 10 cm lengths and placed them in vermiculite.
Bears, birds, and small mammals eat thr fruit and deer and elk browse the foliage and twigs.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, University of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1990.
Seeds of the Woody Plants in North America, Young and Young, Dioscorides Press, 1992.
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture, Dirr and Heuser, Varsity Press, 1987.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Vaccinium membranaceum Dougl. Ex Hook. plants 800 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/06/17). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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