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Pulsatilla (occidentalis)

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: Pulsatilla occidentalis (S. Wats.) Freyn
Common Synonym: Anemone occidentalis Wats.
Common Name: Western pasqueflower
Species Code: ANEOCC
Ecotype: Subalpine meadows, Logan Pass, 2032m elev.
General Distribution: P. occidentalis occurs in mid montane to alpine meadows; from B.C. to California, east to Alberta, Montana, Idaho and northeastern Oregon.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 160 ml containers
Time To Grow: 10 Months
Target Specifications: Height: 6 cm<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: Firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are collected in mid to late August. Plumose achenes are easily stripped from receptacles. Seeds are tan at maturity.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are cleaned with an office clipper.
Seed longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as morpho-physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: 300,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 25%
Pre-Planting Treatments: 5 month outdoor stratification. 2 year old seed is used as this genus has a rudimentary embryo at the time of seed dispersal; an after-ripening period is needed for adequate germination. Fresh seed should be dry stored for 6 months prior to stratification.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Outdoor nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are covered with medium.
Growing medium 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, %Zn) at the rate of 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per 172 ml conetainer.

Conetainers are filled and sown in late fall and irrigated thoroughly prior to winter stratification.
Seedlings germinate in spring under fluctuating outdoor temperatures and are grown under full sun exposure. 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: Seedlings germinate over one month under fluctuating temperatures during the early spring after snowmelt.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Once seedlings are established, plants develop rapid root growth 2 to 4 weeks following germination. Plants are root tight in containers with only 4 leaves at week 5. Plants are fertilized with 13-13-13 liquid NPK bi-weekly during the growing season. Plants can be produced in 9 weeks following germination.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 5 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK in early fall; pots are leached with water, irrigation is gradually reduced through September and October.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 10 months
Harvest Date: August
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, Univ. of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1973.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, Second Edition, Deno, Norman, published 1993.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.
Seeding Rate Statistics for Native and Introduced Species, National Park Service, Hassel, Wendel, April 1986.
1999 Revegetation Monitoring Report, Glacier National Park, Asebrook, J. and Brenneman, B., unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Pulsatilla occidentalis (S. Wats.) Freyn plants 160 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/09/19). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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