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Robinia (hispida)

John Vandevender
Center Manager
USDA NRCS - Appalachian Plant Materials Center
P. O. Box 390
Alderson, West Virginia 24910

Family Scientific Name: Fabaceae
Family Common Name: Pea
Scientific Name: Robinia hispida L.
Common Name: bristly locust
Species Code: ROHI
Ecotype: southern Appalachian
General Distribution: Bristly locust is found throughout most of the continental United States, except for Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Nevada and Arizona.
Known Invasiveness: None
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 1-0
Time To Grow: 12 months
Target Specifications: A second spring seedling ranging in height from 6" to 12" and having a compact, well developed root system.
Propagule Collection: Roots (rhizomes) are collected by digging and severing from the parent plant typically in late winter or early spring while the parent shrub is still dormant. Preferred root diameter is pencil sized or about 1/4" diameter. Roots suitable for propagation are generally found at shallow soil depths which eases collection.
Propagule Processing: Harvested roots are packed is moist sphagnum or similar materials and transported to the greenhouse in ice chests. Roots are buried in greenhouse vermiculite beds maintained at a minimum of 65 degrees Fahrenheit and under natural lighting. Vermiculite beds are maintained at a consistent moisture level via automatic watering.
Establishment Phase: Root suckers (stems) begin to emerge within 2-3 weeks after roots are placed in the vermiculite propagation beds. Once sufficient top growth has developed, the new plants along with a 2" minimum segment of root are removed from the propagation bed, the root segment is dipped in a rooting hormone solution and the new plant is transplanted into a nursery trade sized 1 quart pot filled with coarse processed bark and composted pine bark growing medium. Transplants are then placed on a misting table to encourage new root development. A typical misting cycle is 20 seconds of misting at 2 minute intervals. Plants remain on the misting table until a moderate density, fibrous root system has developed.
Length of Establishment Phase: 3-4 months
Active Growth Phase: Once an adequate root system has developed, the potted plants may be placed in standard greenhouse or outdoor growing conditions. In either case, plants are maintained under natural lighting and may benefit from artificial or natural shade. In either case, shade should not exceed 50%. Optimal soil moisture levels are typically maintained via automatic watering systems during daylight hours.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 4-6 months
Hardening Phase: Plants grown outdoors typically do not require acclimation. Plants grown in greenhouse environments may be acclimated by placing the plants outdoors in a protected location for a minimum of two weeks.
Length of Hardening Phase: 2 weeks
References: Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Champaign, Illinois. Stipes Publishing, LLC.
USDA, NRCS. 2016. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 17 August 2016). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.


Vandevender, John. 2016. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Robinia hispida L. Plants 1-0; USDA NRCS - Appalachian Plant Materials Center Alderson, West Virginia. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2019/11/18). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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