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Paxistima (myrsinites)

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

Family Scientific Name: Celastraceae
Family Common Name: Bittersweet family
Scientific Name: Paxistima myrsinites (Pursh) Raf.
Common Synonym: Pachystima myrsinites Pursh
Common Name: Mountain boxwood
Species Code: PAXMYR
Ecotype: Open slopes in Douglas fir forest, Fish Creek, 1100m elev.
General Distribution: P. myrsinites occurs from B.C. to California, east to the Rocky Mountains.
This species has a very broad ecological amplitude; occurring from the coast to the subalpine, in dry to moist habitats. It grows on well drained, shallow, gravelly clay and silt loams. It grows in sun or shade.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 800 ml containers
Time To Grow: 16 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container cutting<br> Height: 15 cm<br> Caliper: 5 mm<br> Root System: firm plug in 800 ml containers.
Propagule Collection: Vegetative Propagation Method: Pre-Rooting
Type of Cutting: Softwood stem cuttings are collected in late May from healthy field plants in full to partial sun exposure.
Cuttings are collected prior to or just after flowering.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings are kept moist and under refrigeration prior to pretreatment.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Cuttings were cut into 15 to 20 cm lengths, 5 mm in caliper. Cuttings were recut at the base with 1/3 of basal leaves removed and treated with a 2 minute Domain fungicide bath. Cuttings are treated with 2000 or 3000 ppm IBA rooting hormone.
Cuttings are struck with at least 2 nodes below the rooting medium surface.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
The outdoor mistbed has automatic intermittent mist that is applied at 6 second intervals every 6 minutes. Too frequent misting will result in leaf and stem rot. Bottom heat is maintained at 21C with heating cables buried 12 cm beneath rooting medium. Rooting medium is 50% perlite and 50% sand. Mistbed is covered with shadecloth during rooting.
Establishment Phase: Cuttings generate good root systems in 6 to 7 weeks. Roots generate from the nodes.
Length of Establishment Phase: 7 weeks
Active Growth Phase: After cuttings have rooted, they are lifted from the mistbed and potted into 800 ml containers. 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 2.0 grams of Osmocote and 1.0 gram of Micromax per container. Cuttings are irrigated and placed in the shadehouse for 4 weeks. Cuttings are then moved to full sun for the remainder of the growing season. Care should be given not to overwater rooted cuttings.
Cuttings must generate as much root mass as possible before over-winter storage.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 16 weeks
Hardening Phase: Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants are leached with clear water once prior to winterization. If possible, cuttings should be stored in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame for the winter.
Length of Hardening Phase: 5 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 16 months
Harvest Date: September
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Seed Processing: Seed is collected when capsules begin to dehisce. Seeds are har, oval shaped and dark brown at maturity. Seeds are covered by a thin whitish aril, which must be removed by rinsing seeds prior to stratification.
Seed longevity is at least 10 years.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy for the related genera Celastrus.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, University of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1990.
Seeds of the Woody Plants in North America, Young and Young, Dioscorides Press, 1992.
Seeds of the Woody Plants in the United States, Agriculture Handbook No. 450, U.S.F.S., Washington D.C., 1974.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records,unpublished.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.
1996 Revegetation Monitoring Report, Glacier National Park, Asebrook, J., Lamb,B., and Funk, T., unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale; Hosokawa, Joy; Johnson, Kathy. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Paxistima myrsinites (Pursh) Raf. plants 800 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/04/16). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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