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Carex (aquatilis)

Rae Watson
Forestry Technician
USDA FS - J Herbert Stone Nursery
2606 Old Stage Rd.
Central Point, Oregon 97537
541.858.6110 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Cyperaceae
Family Common Name: Sedge family
Scientific Name: Carex aquatilis Wahl.
Common Name: Water sedge
Species Code: CARAQU
Ecotype: Valley bottom, agricultural site
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 1+0 container
Time To Grow: 2 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Root Trainer 20 Height: 12 to 18 inches Caliper: not applicable to sedges Root System: Filled container - 20 cubic inch - because of the propagation environment, many roots came out of the bottom of the plug. The Root Trainer 20 opens up and allows easy extraction of the root system.
Propagule Collection: Field collected from several sites in the high cacades along edges of lakes.
Collector/Date: Steinfeld, late summer 1998.
Propagule Processing: % Purity: Estimated purity is greater than 80%.Seed Processing: Seeds were collected when the seed was tan in appearance and came free when rubbed between the palms of hands. Green seed stays attached. Seed heads were cut or stripped from stem and placed in paper bags for several days before processing. This allowed for the seed to continue to dry. Seed was rubbed between two small pieces of corrugated plastic until the seed was free. It was sieved through one screen and further cleaned by running it through a vacuum separator. Seed was stored in closed-lid jar and placed in a refrigerator at 2 degrees C (35 degrees F). Seeds/Kg:3 million seeds/KG (Hurd and Shaw 1991) % Purity: Estimated purity is greater than 80%.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatments: Seed placed in linen bags and soaked in cold running water for 2 days. Bags were placed between layers of shagnum moss which was kept at 2 degrees C (35 degrees F) for thirty days and then seed was sown.
% Germination: Germination tests were run using 5 treatment methods. Results were as follows: 1) no stratification: 99%; 2) 30 day cold stratification (1C): 99%; 3) 30 day cold stratification in sphagnum moss: 97%; 4) 60 day cold stratification in sphagnum moss: 95%; 5) seed scarified for several minutes in a drum sander and placed in 30 day cold stratification: 80%.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Very controlled greenhouse environment for establishment phase. Daily temperatures kept between 32 to 35C (90 to 95F) and nighttime temperatures 21C (70F). After establishment, seedlings are moved out of the greenhouse and placed in cattle troughs and filled with water. Growing period is from June to September. The climate in the Rogue Valley at during this period is very dry and clear. Average daily high in the summer is in the high 80's and with occasional highs of over 105F. Summer humidity is usually below 30%.
Growing Media: Peat:Vermiculite 1:1 ratio
Container Type: Root Trainer 20. 20 cubic inch.Sowing Date: Three to four sowings beginning early July and ending early August.
% Emergence and Date: Emergence occurred within 10 days of sowing.
Sowing Technique: Hand sowing and covering with a thin layer of quartz grit.
Establishment Phase: No special care
Active Growth Phase: After the plants are moved into the cattle troughs, the troughs are filled with water to a level that is approximately one inch lower than the surface of the media. At this time, fertilizer is added to the water by mixing a Excel 21-5-20 into solution and pouring into the tank. We used enough fertilizer to bring the tank up to 100 ppm of nitrogen. We calculated the ppm of nitrogen using the filled volume of water. The trough is filled each after each time the water has drawn down to the bottom of the trough. This occurs three to five times during the growing season and is temperature dependent.
Hardening Phase: No special measures were taken to harden the seedlings off.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: Seedlings were ready for outplanting in 2 months.
Harvest Date:Late September to early fall
Storage Conditions: Seedlings were not stored before outplanting
Length of Storage: 0
Other Comments: Outplanting Site: Stone Nursery, 3 acre constructed wetland. Soils are a sandy loam over a very compacted sandy clay loam. We used an auger with a three inch bit to create holes.
Planting Season: End of September and First of October, 1999. Grade school and high school students planted the seedlings. Seedlings were irrigated with overhead sprinklers several times in the fall. The site will not be flooded until the seedlings reach a height of at least 2.5 feet high. This will be in the late spring to early summer. The maximum water depth in the constructed wetland is 1.5 feet. Seedlings were planted at a density of 25 plants per 100 square feet.
References: References: Hurd HG, Shaw NL. 1991. Seed technology for Carex and Juncus species of the Intermountain Region. Intermountain Nurseryman Association Annual Meeting, 1991 August 12-16;Park City, Utah. P 74-83.


Steinfeld, David. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Carex aquatilis Wahl. plants 1+0 container; USDA FS - J Herbert Stone Nursery Central Point, Oregon. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2019/09/16). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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