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Clematis (columbiana)

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

Family Scientific Name: Ranunculaceae
Family Common Name: Buttercup family
Scientific Name: Clematis columbiana (Nutt.) T & G
Common Name: Columbia virgin's bower
Species Code: CLECOL
Ecotype: Subalpine fir/ Beargrass habitat, Many Glacier, Glacier National Park, Glacier Co., MT. 1585m elevation.
General Distribution: C. columbiana occurs east of the Cascades, from B.C. to northern Oregon, east to Alberta, Montana, and Wyoming. It inhabits open forests and slopes in the montane and subalpine zone.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 800 ml containers
Time To Grow: 1 Years
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container cutting<br> Height: 4 cm<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: Firm plug in containers.
Propagule Collection: Vegetative Propagation Method: Pre-Rooting
Type of Cutting: Summer softwood stem cuttings collected from healthy plants in early June.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings are kept moist and under refrigeration prior to pre treatment.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Stem cuttings were 3 cm in length and 0.4 cm in diameter, taken in late June during flowering. Cuttings were recut just above the node and internode length was shortened to 1 to 3 cm. Cuttings were treated with 8000 ppm Hormex rooting powder and placed in 1:1 (v:v) sand and perlite medium under mist with bottom heat for 7 weeks.
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 21C with heating cables 12 cm beneath rooting medium. 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. First average frost is September 5th, although freezing temperatures can be expected anytime in Glacier National Park.
Establishment Phase: Rooting %:38%
Time to Transplant: 7 weeks
Cuttings that were pre rooted were lifted out of mistbed after adequate root systems were formed. Roots generate from the nodes below the surface of the rooting medium. 50% of the cuttings produced well branched roots that were 4 cm in length. Cuttings were potted in 800 ml pots but were not root tight at the end of the growing season.
Length of Establishment Phase: 7 weeks
Active Growth Phase: After cuttings were lifted from the mistbed, they were potted into 800 ml containers. Growing media used is 6:1:1 milled spaghnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite 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 2 grams of Osmocote and 1 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: 8 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK at 200 ppm during August and September. 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: 1.3 years from cuttings
Harvest Date: September of the second year.
Storage conditions: Overwinter under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Seed Propagation:
Hand collect mature plumose achenes when they turn brown in color in late September and early October.
Seed can be cleaned with hammermill seed cleaner.
Seed longevity is at least 2 years.
Seed dormancy is classified morpho-physiological dormancy.
Seed Treatments: 5 month outdoor cold, moist stratification. A light requirement is reported for this species; seeds that were covered failed to germinate. Fresh seeds have rudimentary embryos at time of harvest and require an after ripening period. Fresh seeds may not germinate until the following year.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, 7th edition, University of Washington Press, 1973.
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation, Dirr and Heuser, Varsity Press, 1987.
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.
Glacier National Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Hosokawa, Joy. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Clematis columbiana (Nutt.) T & G plants 800 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/06/17). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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