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Ledum (glandulosum)

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

Family Scientific Name: Ericaceae
Family Common Name: Heath Family
Scientific Name: Ledum glandulosum Nutt.
Common Name: Labrador-tea
Species Code: LEDGLA
Ecotype: Lodgepole pine forest, Camas, Glacier National Park, Flathead County, MT.,, 1050 m.
General Distribution: L. glandulosum occurs from B.C. to Marin County, California; east through the Rocky Mountains from B.C. to Idaho, Montana, and northern Wyoming, and northeastern Oregon.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 800 ml containers
Time To Grow: 18 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container cuttings<br> Height: 15 cm<br> Caliper: 7 mm<br> Root System: firm plug in 800 ml(4.5 inch) pot.
Propagule Collection: Vegetative Propagation Method: Pre-Rooting
Type of Cutting: Spring semi-softwood stem cuttings
Cuttings are collected in early May.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings are kept moist and under refrigeration prior to pre treatment.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Cuttings were 15 cm in length and were re-cut at the base. Terminal buds were removed.
Cuttings were placed in a 2 minute fungicide bath to remove surface pathogens. Cuttings were treated with 2000 ppm liquid IBA, and placed in mist bed with at least 2 nodes below the surface of the rooting medium.
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. Misting frequency is increased or decreased according to daily outdoor temperature and wind. Bottom heat is maintained at 21 Cwith heating cables 12 cm beneath rooting media. Rooting medium is 50% perlite and 50% sand. Mistbed is covered with shadecloth during rooting. After cuttings are potted, they are moved to an outdoor shadehouse for 4 weeks. They are later moved to full sun exposure in the outdoor nursery and are irrigated with Rainbird automatic irrigation system in early morning until containers are thoroughly leached.
Average growing season of nursery is from late April after snowmelt until October 15th.
Establishment Phase: Rooting %: 60%
Semi-hardwood cuttings taken in early spring had well developed roots without callus formation. Cuttings should be closely monitored during the rooting process.
Ideally, the air temperature around the cuttings should be maintained 17 to 21C. Cuttings were potted with 5:1 (v:v)growing medium to soil/root mass collected from the rhizosphere of field plants. Growing medium must be well aerated and acidic.
Cuttings developed rapid root development the following spring.
Cuttings taken in June failed to root with the same treatment. Dormant semi-hardwood cuttings taken in early spring or fall give the highest rooting percentages.
Time to Transplant: 10 weeks
Length of Establishment Phase: 10weeks
Active Growth Phase: After cuttings were lifted from the mistbed, they were potted into 800 ml containers. Growing medium used is 70% 6:1:1 milled spaghnum 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 0.5 gram of Micromax per conetainer. Cuttings were irrigated after potting and placed in the shadehouse for 4 weeks. After establishment in the shadehouse, plants were moved to full sun exposure in the outdoor nursery.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 12 weeks
Hardening Phase: Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants were given one final irrigation prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 1.5 years
Harvest Date: September

Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Seed Propagation Method: Direct Seeding, not tried.
Seeds/Kg: 3,000,000/kg
Seed Processing: The dust-like seed is collected when the capsules begin to split. Seeds are extracted by hand-rubbing the capsules.
Seed longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seed Treatments: Seed is surface sown on finely milled peat and kept moist at 17 to 21C. Seed requires light for germination.
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.
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture, Dirr and Heuser, Varsity Press, 1987.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.


Evans, Jeff. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Ledum glandulosum Nutt. plants 800 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. 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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