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Trisetum (spicatum)

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

Family Scientific Name: Poaceae
Family Common Name: Grass family
Scientific Name: Trisetum spicatum (L.) Richter
Common Name: Spike trisetum
Species Code: TRISPI
Ecotype: Subalpine meadows, Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, Glacier Co., MT., 2032m elevation.
General Distribution: T. spicatum is a cosmopolitan species, which occurs from montane forests to alpine slopes in dry and rocky areas to moist areas. It is found from Alaska to Greenland, south through most of the mountains of the western U.S., the Great Lakes area, the Appalachian mountains, and Mexico through South America. It is also found across Europe and Asia.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 8 Weeks
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: 6 to 10 true leaves; 10 cm.<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: firm plug in conetainer.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are collected in late August when florets turn from purple to tan and seed is easily shaken out of floret. Seeds are collected by hand stripping the inflorescence.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are cleaned using screens and a air blower at NRCS.
Seed Storage is estimated at 5 to 7 years at 3 to 5C in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as non dormant.
Seeds/Kg: 1,600,000/kg
% Purity: 100%% Germination: 40 to 100%.
Pre-Planting Treatments: 5 month outdoor stratification. Stratification is not necessary. High elevation seed sources are reported to germinate higher in light; lower elevation sources germinate higher in dark.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Greenhouse and outdoor nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct seeding. Seeds are lightly covered or surface sown.
Growing medium 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 conetainer.

Greenhouse temperatures are maintained at 21 to 25C during the day and 16 to 18C at night. Seedlings are hand watered and 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: Medium is kept slightly moist during germination. Initial germination appeared uniform and occurred following several days of temperatures at 21C or above during the day.
Length of Establishment Phase: 2 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Root and shoot development occurs rapidly following germination. 4 to 6 true leaves were evident 3 weeks after germination. Plants were fertilized with 20-10-20 liquid NPK at 100 ppm during the growing season. Plants reached flowering maturity 3 months after germination.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 6 weeks
Hardening Phase: Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants are flushed with clear water before winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 5 months
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 8 weeks

Harvest Date: July to August
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Vegetative Propagation Method: Divisions can be done as a means of increasing nursery stock.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, 7th edition, University of Washington Press, 1973.
Seeding Rate Statistics for Native and Introduced Species, Hassell, Wendel, U.S.D.I. and U.S.D.A., April 1996.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, Deno, Norman, Penn State University, 1993.
Growing Colorado Plants From Seed; A State of the Art. Vol.2 Grasses, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NTIS General Report, 1982.
Glacier National Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
1999 Revegetation Monitoring Report, Glacier National Park, Asebrook, J. and Brenneman, B., unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Trisetum spicatum (L.) Richter plants 160 ml conetainers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/02/19). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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