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Gentiana (calycosa)

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

Family Scientific Name: Gentianaceae
Family Common Name: Gentian Family
Scientific Name: Gentiana calycosa Griseb.
Common Name: Explorer's gentian
Species Code: GENCAL
Ecotype: Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, Glacier County, MT 2030 meters elevation.
General Distribution: G. calycosa is found in subalpine and alpine meadows,open slopes, and streambanks; from British Columbia to California and east to the Rocky Mountains from Alberta to Colorado. It typically grows on well aerated soils.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 9 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: 2 to 3 cm<br> Caliper: N/A<br> Root System: Firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Collection Date: 9/3/98
Collection Locality: Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, 2030 meters.
Seeds are hand collected when capsules begin to split at the top. Seeds are tan at maturity. This species flowers in late summer and mature seeds are sometimes difficult to obtain before snowfall in September. A cutting test is essential prior to collection to ensure seed maturity and fill.
Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: Small quantities are cleaned by hand using screens.
Seed Storage is at least 3 years in sealed containers and storage temperatures maintained at 3 to 5C with low relative humidity.
Seed Dormancy is classified as physiological Dormancy.
Seeds/Kilogram: N/A
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 59% to 86%
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds are treated with 1000 ppm gibberellic acid soak with distilled water for 15 minutes. After treatment, seeds are rinsed with running water for 10 minutes. Imbibed seeds are placed on moistened paper towels using distilled water in open plastic bags under refrigeration at 2C for 100 days. Seeds are checked every other day to monitor moisture content.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Growing Area: Fully controlled greenhouse
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are surface sown.
Growing Medium: Sunshine Mix #2 containing 70% milled sphagnum peat moss, 20% perlite and 10% washed sand added to commercial medium.
Container Type and Volume: 160 ml (7 cu. inch) Ray leach conetainers.
Establishment Phase: Greenhouse temperatures are maintained at 25C day for 12 hours and 15C night for 12 hours.
Medium is kept evenly moist during germination by misting twice per day.
Cotyledons emerged 8 days after sowing and are thinned to 1 per container after the appearance of true leaves. Seedlings had 4 true leaves 4 weeks after sowing.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Like most alpine species, most growth is allocated to the root system. The roots are slender and somewhat fleshy. Care must be taken not to overwater seedlings.
Seedlings are fertilized with 20-10-20 NPK liquid fertilizer at 100 ppm once per week and are moved to the outdoor nursery in full sun 3 months after germination.
Temperatures range from 20 to 25C during the day and 12 to 15C at night.
Seedlings produce 6 to 10 true leaves on a short shoot and form branched shoots from the bottom of the main shoot later during the active growth phase. Shoot height averages 2 to 3 cm at the end of the growing season.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 20 weeks
Hardening Phase: Seedlings are fertilized with 10-20-20 NPK liquid fertilizer at 50 ppm during September and irrigation is gradually reduced through the months of September and October. Plants are given one final irrigation of water prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 8 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 9 months
Harvest Date: September
Storage Conditions: Seedlings over winter in the outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, Unversity of Washington Press, 1985.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Timber Press Inc., 1998.
Glacier National Park Propagation Records, unpublished.
Seed Germination: Theory and Practice, Deno, Penn State University, 1991.


Luna, Tara. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Gentiana calycosa Griseb. plants 160 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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