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Phyllodoce (empetriformis)

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: Phyllodoce empetriformis (SW.) D. Don
Common Name: Pink Mountain-heath
Species Code: PHYEMP
Ecotype: Subalpine meadow, Logan Pass, 2032m elevation,Glacier National Park, Flathead Co., MT.
General Distribution: P. empetriformis occurs from Alaska to California, east to Alberta and south through the Rocky Mountains to Colorado. ΓΏ
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: 4.6 cm<br> Caliper: 7 mm<br> Root System: firm plug in 800 ml (4.5 inch) pot.
Propagule Collection: Vegetative Propagation Method: Pre-Rooting
Type of Cutting: Summer semi-hardwood Stem Cuttings collected in late June.
Semi-hardwood cuttings taken in September and October using 8000 ppm IBA under mist in a greenhouse during the winter may be the best method for obtaining higher rooting percentages.
As is the case with many cultivated genera of the Heath family, fall propagation, peat/perlite rooting medium and air temperatures maintained at 17C are the best conditions for growing high elevation ericaeous species.
Mycorrhizal inoculation of cuttings and seedlings is necessary for optimum growth and vigor.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings are kept moist and under refrigeration prior to pre treatment.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Stem tip cuttings and Stem cuttings with a heel of sunbterraenean wood.
Cuttings were treated with 1,000 ppm liquid IBA. Cuttings benefit be incorporating field collected inoculum into the rooting medium. Rooting medium used is 1:1 (v:v) peat:perlite medium containing root/soil material collected from the rhizosphere of field plants.
Rooting %: Stem heel cuttings had higher rate of rooting (37%) than stem tipcuttings (17%).
Roots appeared 8 weeks after treatment.
Stem heel cuttings were more vigorous and produced a greater root mass (15 cm2) than the tip cuttings (8 cm2) after 1.5 years.
The low rooting percentage is most likely due to the low concentration of IBA (1000 ppm). 8000 ppm IBA talc is recommended.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Outdoor nursery. 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 21 C with heating cables 12 cm beneath rooting medium.
Rooting medium is 50% perlite and 50% peat. 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 irrigated with Rainbird automatic irrigation system in early morning until containers are thoroughly leached.
Establishment Phase: Time to Transplant: 10 weeks.
Length of Establishment Phase: 10 weeks
Active Growth Phase: After cuttings were lifted from the mistbed, they were potted into 800 ml containers. 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 1 grams of Osmocote and .5 gram of Micromax per conetainer. Cuttings were irrigated after potting and placed in full sun exposure in the outdoor nursery.
Cuttings were overwintered outdoors after potting from mistbed and resumed active growth the following spring.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 6 weeks
Hardening Phase: Cuttings were irrigated thoroughly prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks 1st year, 16 weeks 2nd year
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 2 years.
Harvest Date: July of the second year.
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Seed Propagation Method: Direct seeding, not tried.
Collection Date: Early September
Seeds/Kg: 49,280,000/kg
Seed Processing: The dust-like seed is collected when the capsules begin to split. Seeds are extracted by hand-rubbing the capsules.
Seed longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as non dormant for the related genera, Calluna.
Seed treatments: Seed is surface sown on finely milled peat and kept moist at 17 to 21C. This treatment is used for other closely related genera, such as Calluna and Erica.
Sowing/Planting Technique: Seed is surface sown; needs light for germination.
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.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Phyllodoce empetriformis (SW.) D. Don plants 800 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/08/05). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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