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Lupinus (sericeus)

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

Family Scientific Name: Fabaceae
Family Common Name: Pea family
Scientific Name: Lupinus sericeus Pursh.
Common Name: Silky lupine
Species Code: LUPSER
Ecotype: Fescue grassland, 1500m elev. Glacier Co., Glacier
General Distribution: L. sericeus is found in sagebrush deserts, grasslands, and open forests, from B.C. east of the Cascades to California and Arizona, east to Alberta and south through the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 172 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 4 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: 4 to 6 true leaves, 10 cm<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: Firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are collected when legumes turn tan before dehiscence. Seeds are tan to gray at maturity. Legume pods are cut from field plants just as they begin to dry. Pods are collected in paper bags. Since Lupines dehisce forcefully, pods are are spread out in the drying shed and covered with a fine mesh cloth.
Propagule Processing: Seed is threshed and cleaned with an air blower. Seeds are cleaned by NRCS.
Seed longevity: is reported to be from 20 to 60 years in sealed containers at 3 to 5C.
Seed dormancy is classified as physical dormancy;due to hard seed coat.
Seeds/Kg: 28,380/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 51% to 82%
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds are placed in a brief 5 to 10 second hot water scarification and imedaiately transferred to cold water tocool overnight. Seeds are wrapped in moist paper towels and placed under refrigeration at 3C for a 30 day stratification. Imbibed seeds should be inoculated with Rhizobium specific to Lupinus prior to sowing.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Greenhouse and Outdoor Nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are covered with media.
Growing media 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 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per 172 ml conetainer.
Greenhouse temperatures are maintained at 21 to 25C during the day and 16 to 18C at night. Seedlings are hand watered an remain in greenhouse until mid May. Seedlings are then moved to outdoor nursery for the remainder of the growing season.
Seedlings 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: Seeds germinate uniformly in 8 days at 21C. Germination to true leaf stage is 7 to 15 days.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: There is rapid root and shoot development during the growing season. Plants are not fertilized Plants are susceptible to root rot and Botrytis if there is poor air circulation between cones.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 12 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants should be planted as soon as root tightness is obtained. Seedlings can be planted in the spring or fall.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Plants should be outplanted the first year if possible.
Other Comments: This species produces a taproot; careful attention to watering is critical. There is considerable variation on germination percentages from different seed sources within the Park. This may be due to varying degrees of hard seededness and/or time of collection. It is absolutely necessary to inoculate with Rhizobium to maintain healthy seedlings in culture. Lupinus does not transplant well; it is best to pre treat seed and sow directly on the site.
The appearance of newly germinated seedlings of L. sericeus after forest fires is indicative of a physical seed dormancy that is broken by high temperatures; thus the hot water treatment and soak is necessary for high rates of germination.
There are 3 botanical varieties: var. asotinensis, var. fikeranus, and var. sericeus.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, Univ. of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1973.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition, Deno, Norman, publ.1993.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished
Seeding Rate Statistics for Native and Introduced Species, National Park Service, Hassell, Wendel, April 1996.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.
Glacier National Park Propagation Records, unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Wick, Dale; Hosokawa, Joy. 2004. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Lupinus sericeus Pursh. plants 172 ml conetainers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/06/05). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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