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Erigeron (compositus)

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

Family Scientific Name: Asteraceae
Family Common Name: Sunflower family
Scientific Name: Erigeron compositus Pursh glabratus Macoun.
Common Name: Cut leaved Daisy
Species Code: ERICOM
Ecotype: Scree slope, Siyeh Bend, Glacier National Park, Glacier Co., MT., 2000m elevation.
General Distribution: E. compositus is a widespread North American species, occurring from prairies to alpine slopes. It inhabits disturbed open areas in well drained soils.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 9 Months
Target Specifications: Height: 6 to 10 true leaves, 3 cm<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: firm plug in 160 ml conetainer
Propagule Collection: Seeds are hand collected in August when achenes turn tan and are easily detached from the disc. Seeds are collected in paper bags and kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are cleaned with a hammermill and office clipper at NRCS.
Seed longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: 1,500,000 /kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 90%
Pre-Planting Treatments: 5 month outdoor cold, moist stratification. This species will germinate to high percentages using a shorter duration (60 day) artifical cold, moist stratification.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Outdoor nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct seeding. Manual hand sowing; seed is covered with medium.
Growing medium used is 70% 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.
Conetainers are filled and sown in late fall and irrigated thoroughly prior to winter stratification.
Establishment Phase: Medium is kept slightly moist during germination. Initial germination appeared uniform and occurred following several days of temperatures at 22C or above during the day. Seedlings are thinned at the true leaf stage. After seedlings ar well established, they must dry down between irrigations.
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 after germination. Plants were fertilized with 20-20-20 NPK liquid fertilizer at 100 ppm during the growing season.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 8 weeks
Hardening Phase: Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants are leached with clear water and fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK fertilizer at 200 ppm once before winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 9 months
Harvest Date: August
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: E. compositus is a colonizing species from the prairie to the alpine zone and readily establishes following disturbance.
There are 3 botanical varieties: var. compositus, var. glabratus, and var. discoideus.
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 Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Erigeron compositus Pursh plants 160 ml conetainers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/09/19). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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