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Poa (alpina)

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

Family Scientific Name: Poaceae
Family Common Name: Grass family
Scientific Name: Poa alpina L.
Common Name: Alpine bluegrass
Species Code: POAALP
Ecotype: Subalpine meadows, Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, MT. 2032m elevation.
General Distribution: P. alpina occurs in subalpine to alpine meadows, ridges and talus slopes; from Alaska to Quebec, south in the Cascades to just north of Mt. Rainier, WA., east to northeastern Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and northern Michigan. It is also found throughout Eurasia.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 172 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 8 Weeks
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: 6 cm<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: firm plug in conetainer.
Propagule Collection: Collect mature inflorescences in late August when florets turn tan. Seeds are light tan at maturity. Seeds are collected using scissors and are collected in paper bags. Seeds are spread on an open tarp in the drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are cleaned with a small clipper and air blower at NRCS.
Seed longevity is at least 7 years at 3 to 5C in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as non dormant.
Seeds/Kg: 2,200,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 98% 1-yr-old seed. 35% on 7 year old seed.
Pre-Planting Treatments: No stratification is required.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Greenhouse and outdoor nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are covered with medium.
Growing medium used is 70% 6:1:1 milled sphagnum 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 0.20 gram of Micromax per 172 ml conetainer.
Greenhouse temperatures are maintained at 21 to 25C during the day and 16 to 18C at night. Seedlings are hand watered and remain in greenhouse until mid May. Seedlings are then moved to outdoor nursery for the remainder of the growing season.
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.
Establishment Phase: Medium is kept slightly moist during germination. Germination is usually complete in 1 to 2 weeks.
Length of Establishment Phase: 2 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Shoot and root development occur rapidly following germination. Plants are fertilized with 20-20-20 liquid NPK fertilizer until root tightness is obtained.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 5 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants that are not outplanted the first year, will be given one final irrigation prior to overwintering.
Length of Hardening Phase: 5 months
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 6 to 8 weeks
Harvest Date: July to August
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Vegetative Propagation Method: Yes; established nursery stock can be increased by divisions.
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.
Glacier National Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
1999 Revegetation Monitoring Report, Glacier National Park, Asebrook, J. and Brenneman, B., unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale; Hosokawa, Joy. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Poa alpina L. plants 172 ml conetainers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/07/06). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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