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Dennstaedtia (punctilobula)

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: Dennstaedtiaceae
Family Common Name: Bracken Family
Scientific Name: Dennstaedtia punctilobula
Common Name: Hay-scented fern
Species Code: DENPUN
Ecotype: National Capital Parks-East , Washington, D.C.
General Distribution: Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to Ontario and Minnesota, south to Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas. Mostly in open woods, clearings, rocky slopes.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 1 gallon container
Time To Grow: 1 Weeks
Target Specifications: Stock Type: 1 gallon container plants. Height: 10-12 inches with a well-formed crown, multiple stems and fiddleheads. Root System: Root ball is fibrous and firm, but does not always fill out container completely.
Propagule Collection: Collected in National Capital Parks-East, Washington, D.C., Oxon Run Parkway by J. Kujawski, M. Norman 7/28/97; spores and/or fertile fronds are collected into paper bags or envelopes.
Propagule Processing: Spore Propagation Method: Dusted over expanded Jiffy 7 peat pellets.
Spore Processing: No processing of spores is required; if fertile fronds are collected, fronds should be allowed to sit in paper bags to allow ripe spores to drop off. Fronds can be shaken into bags or envelopes to dislodge spores.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Container Type and Volume: Jiffy 7 peat pellets in sealed plastic containers for germination, then into open flats with rigid plastic humidity domes and larger containers for finishing.
Growing Media: Jiffy 7 peat pellets, transplant into peat pellet medium in flats, then into Promix BX for finishing.
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: Summer.
Emergence and Date: Prothalli begin to develop over a month-long period.
Sowing/Planting Technique: Spores are sprinkled by hand over Jiffy 7 peat pellets; pellets are placed into sealed clear plastic containers (such as hinged salad containers) and maintained in the lab at 72-77 F with a 16 hour light, 8 hour dark light cycle. This part of the process is also feasible in the greenhouse.
Establishment Phase: Once prothalli develop on the peat pellets, plugs are kept moist to allow for sporophyte production. Prothalli may require thinning if they become too crowded on pellets.
Active Growth Phase: Rapid Growth Phase: Once sexual reproduction on the prothalli occurs, small sporophytes begin to develop. These tiny ferns are transferred to flats with humidity domes containing loose peat pellet mix and maintained for approximately 2 months during which they develop many stems and roots. Moisture is maintained by handwatering and misting. Larger ferns are transplanted to trays containing Promix BX and for plants with several sets of true leaves, 1/4 strength 20-20-20 fertilizer is applied. These flats are moved from the lab to the greenhouse to begin hardening off plants. Again, this process could be done entirely in the greenhouse with attention to temperature and moisture.
Hardening Phase: Hardening Phase: Young ferns in Promix trays are exposed to open air in the greenhouse by removal of humidity domes after they have reached approximately 1-2 inches in height. Misting willhelp prevent dehydration of plants as they acclimate. These ferns can be transplanted into quart size containers after they reach a height of 2-3 inches. Ferns in larger containers should be moved outside to a shade house from the greenhouse in summer.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Harvest Date: Ferns are ready approximately 1-1« years after spore germination.
Storage Conditions: Container plants smaller than 1 gallon are stored in a cold house @ 40 F for the winter; containers are periodically watered to prevent dehydration. Gallon size containers are stored outside on weed barrier fabric, and covered with 2 layers of a microfoam insulating blanket. The blanket is secured over plants by threading a rope over the blanket between rebar anchors on either side of a group of containers.
Length of Storage: <b>Storage Duration:</b> December to mid-March.
Other Comments: Vegetation Propagation Method: Spores.
Propagators: M. Norman (lab at Anne Arundel Community College), K. Davis, J. Kujawski.
References: Kujawski, J. 1997 Annual Report to the National Park Service for National Capital Parks-East Oxon Run Parkway. USDA NRCS National Plant Materials Center, Beltsville, MD.

Norman, C.M. 1998. Fern production quarterly reports. Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, MD.

Gleason and Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, 2nd edition. New York Botanical Garden.


Kujawski, Jennifer L.; Davis, Kathy M.. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Dennstaedtia punctilobula plants 1 gallon container; USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center Beltsville, Maryland. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/04/10). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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