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Pityopsis (graminifolia)

John M. Englert
USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center
Bldg. 509, BARC - East, E. Beaver Dam Road
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
(301) 504-8175
(301) 504-8741 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Asteraceae
Family Common Name: Aster Family
Scientific Name: Pityopsis graminifolia
Common Name: Grass-leaved goldaster
Species Code: PITGRA
Ecotype: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
General Distribution: Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Time To Grow: 0
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedlings. Height: 6"-8". Root System: Firm full plug easily pulled.
Propagule Collection: Collected at Great Smoky Mountains National Park by M. Kertis and D. Graveline on 9/28/94; Cumberland Gap National Historical Park by RR/AR on 10/15/90; National Plant Materials Center by D. Dusty on 10/30/96,
10/22-11/5/97, 11/9-27/98, 11/22/99 and 11-12/00.
Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: Seed is harvested from the National Plant Materials Center production blocks in November or December using a modified Trac Vac. It is cleaned by running it through a debearder, large clipper - screens 6 + solid, air high-low and small clipper - screens 1/13 + solid, air med-low, vents 1/4 open.
Seeds/Kg: 2,000,000.
Germination: Tests range from 46-61%. However, greenhouse germination has averaged only 63 plugs per gram of seed sown (around 3%). Plug trays have been heavily sown to compensate.
Purity: 77%-94%.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatments: Seed may be stratified for a week or less. This seed will begin to emerge in the cooler with germination uniform and complete shortly after it is returned to the bench.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Greenhouse with alternating day/night temperatures; daytime temperatures varied from 70-85§F during the winter months depending on natural solar; night temperatures averaged around 65-68§F. Extended daylength 14 to 16 hours with high pressure sodium lighting.

Seed Propagation Method: Hand sown into plug trays.

Container Type and Volume: Seed is sown into 392 plug trays and seedlings transplanted to 72 plug trays or Ropak multipots.

Growing Media: Germination mix is used for starts in 392's. For transplanting to 72 plug trays and multipot containers: Sunshine #1 or #5 potting mix, amended with 18-6-8,180-day Nutricote SR at 0.15 lb./cu. ft., or 20 oz. per 3.8 cu. ft. bale of potting media.
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: January; however, in 1997, seed was sown in September for a March delivery.

% Emergence and Date:Immediately in stratified seeds directly out of the cooler. Starting at 7-10 days for unstratified seed. In spite of reasonable germination tests, greenhouse emergence has been only around 3%.

Sowing/Planting Technique: Seed is hand-sown and lightly covered with germination mix. Trays are heavily seeded (up to 6 grams of seed per 392) to compensate for low plug production per gram of seed. Trays may be given a Triathlon fungicidal drench, covered in clear plastic and placed in a seed cooler for a week's stratification period or may go directly to the bench.

Establishment Phase: Germination occurs rapidly in stratified seed. Substrate is kept evenly moist when seed trays are returned to the greenhouse bench. Seedlings are transplanted between 4 and 6 weeks after germination.
Active Growth Phase: Rapid Growth Phase: The plant has tough, hairy, leaves that are somewhat difficult to cut cleanly unless with the sharpest shears; luckily it may need only one cutback during production. This may become necessary if plant leaves begin to look ragged or off-color. New strap-like leaves emerge from the plant crown. Fertilized lightly approximately bi-weekly or as needed with soluble fertilizer at approximately 75-100 ppm N. Surprisingly pest free, care free plant. During production in the greenhouse from early January - late March, 2001, it has only been fertiltized 2-3 times and has not required any pesticide treatment or cutbacks.
Hardening Phase: Hardening Phase: Two weeksprior to outplanting, the greenhouse is cooled down or plugs are moved outdoors, depending on weather, and fertilization is stopped.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: Approximately 13 weeks from germination to finished plug.

Harvest Date: plugs are not overwintered.

Seed storage: Seed is stored in seed bags in the National Plant Materials Center seed storage cooler at 40§F, 35% relative humidity.

Seed dormancy: None indicated, however uniformity and time of seedling emergence may be improved with a few days of cool, moist stratification at 40§F.
Other Comments: There are at least 4 naturally occurring but genetically different varieties of Pityopsis graminifolia which has alternately been called Chrysopsis and Heterotheca. This plant has been identified as a possible rubber producer.
References: Gleason, H. A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, 2nd edition. New York Botanical Garden.


Davis, Kathy M.; Kujawski, Jennifer. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Pityopsis graminifolia plants USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center Beltsville, Maryland. 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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