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Phacelia (sericea)

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

Family Scientific Name: Hydrophyllaceae
Family Common Name: Water leaf family
Scientific Name: Phacelia sericea (Grah) Gray.
Common Name: Silky phacelia
Species Code: PHASER
Ecotype: Talus and scree slide, Scenic Point, 2050m elev.
General Distribution: P. sericea is a widespread cordilleran species that inhabits open slopes in prairies and foothills to to alpine talus slopes.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 172 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 10 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: 6 to 10 true leaves, 4 cm<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: Firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are collected in late summer when capsules turn tan and begin to dehisce. Seeds are black at maturity. Capsules are collected in paper bags and kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are easily shaken out of open capsules after drying. Excess chaff can be removed by running seeds through a series of screens.
Seed longevity: estimated at 5 to 10 years in sealed containers at low temperatures.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: 990,000/kg
% Purity:100%
% Germination: 40%
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 lightly covered with medium.
Growing medium used is 70%6:1:1 milled spaghnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite and 30% coarse 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 0.20 gram of Micromax per 172 ml 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 fromlate April after snowmelt until October 15th.
Establishment Phase: Seedlings emerge under fluctuating spring temperatures. Germination was non-uniform. True leaves appeared 2 weeks after germination. Once seedlings are established, they must dry down between irrigations.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Once established after emergence, seedlings produce rapid shoot and root development. Seedlings were root tight 16 weeks following germination.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 16 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK at 200 ppm during August and September. Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants were given one final irrigation prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 10 months
Harvest Date: August
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam and snow cover.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: is a tap rooted perennial species that colonizes sharply drained soils and talus slides, from low elevations to the alpine zone.
There are 2 botanical varieties: var. sericea, and var. ciliosa.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, Univ. of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1990.
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.
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) Phacelia sericea (Grah) Gray. plants 172 ml conetainers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/10/23). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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