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Saxifraga (bronchialis)

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

Family Scientific Name: Saxifragaceae
Family Common Name: Saxifrage family
Scientific Name: Saxifraga bronchialis L.
Common Name: Spotted saxifrage
Species Code: SAXBRO
Ecotype: Open rocky slope, Sun Point, Glacier National Park, Glacier Co., MT., 4600' elevation.
General Distribution: S. bronchialis occurs from sea level to the arctic-alpine and is circumboreal in distribution. In North America, it is found from Alaska to Greenland, south to northern Oregon, Idaho, and in the Rocky Mountains from Montana to Colorado.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 2 Years
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: 2 cm, multiple leaves in a tight cushion.<br> Caliper: n/a. Root System: firm plug in conetainer.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are collected in the fall when capsules begin to turn brown and split. Seeds are black at maturity.
Capsules are collected in paper bags and are kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are hand cleaned by rubbing the capsules to extract the seeds.Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: Unknown
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: N/A
Pre-Planting Treatments: 5 month outdoor cold, moist stratification. Germination was occurred after 4 months of warm temperatures following cold stratification. A prolonged after- ripening of the seeds may be necessary for this species.
Germination stimulation of some Saxifraga species by light and by gibberellic acid suggests that these treatments should be tried with this species.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Outdoor nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method:Direct Seeding.Seeds are surface sown.

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 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per 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 from late April after snowmelt until October 15th.
Establishment Phase: Medium is kept slightly moist during germination. Initial germination appeared during late summer.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Root and shoot development occurs rapidly following germination.
4 to 6 true leaves were evident 3 weeks by late September. Plants were not root tight at the end of the growing season.
Do not over water seedlings after initial establishment.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 8 weeks 1st year, 10 weeks 2nd year
Hardening Phase: Irrigation is gradually reduced in the fall. One final irrigation is applied prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 2 years

Harvest Date: September of the 2nd year.
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: There are at least 3 botanical varieties: austromontana, vespertina, and bronchialis.
Herbaceous cuttings taken in spring or late summer of non flowering side shoots are easy to root and can be used as a method of propagation if seed is unavaiable.
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 NativePlant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Saxifraga bronchialis L. plants 160 ml conetainers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/05/11). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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