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Ceanothus (velutinus)

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

Family Scientific Name: Rhamnaceae
Family Common Name: Buckthorn family
Scientific Name: Ceanothus velutinus Dougl.
Common Name: Deer brush ceanothus
Species Code: CEAVEL
Ecotype: Lodgepole Forest, Apgar, 1100m elev.
General Distribution: C. velutinus occurs from B.C to California, east to Idaho and western Montana in open wooded slopes from 1100 to 3000 meters elevation. It grows in many soil types but prefers coarse textured, well drained soils.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 800 ml containers
Time To Grow: 2 Years
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container cutting<br> Height: 20 cm<br> Caliper:8 mm<br> Root System: firm plug in 800 ml containers.
Propagule Collection: Vegetative Propagation Method: Pre-Rooting
Type of Cutting: Summer semi-hardwood stem cutting collected in late April to early June.
Propagule Processing: Cuttings are kept moist and under refrigeration prior to pre treatment.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Cuttings were cut into 20-30 cm lengths, 1 cm in caliper. Cuttings were treated with 2000 ppm liquid IBA, and struck in mist bed with bottom heat.
Rooting %: 99% in 8 weeks late April
31% in 8 weeks late June
Cuttings taken in late April had the highest rooting percentages. Roots are susceptible to excessive moisture; cuttings should be uppotted into a well drained media and carefully storedoverwinter. Cuttings produce callus before root initiation.
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 21 C with heating cables 12 cm beneath rooting medium. Rooting medium is 50% perlite and 50% sand. 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.
Establishment Phase: Time to Transplant: 8 weeks.
Cuttings that were pre rooted were lifted out of mistbed after adequate root systems were formed. Roots generate from the bottom cut below the surface of the rooting media.
Length of Establishment Phase: 8 weeks
Active Growth Phase: After cuttings were lifted from the mistbed, they were potted into 3L containers. Growing media used is 50% 6:1:1 milled spaghnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite and 50% perlite 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 5 grams of Osmocote and 2 grams 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. This species produces a deep taproot.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 12 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: 2 years from cuttings
Harvest Date: Spring Planting is preferred. It requires frequent watering after planting the first year.
Storage Conditions: Overwinter under foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Seedlings and cuttings should be inoculated with Nitrogen-fixing organisms.
The N-fixing ability of this species is beneficial following fires or restoring in areas of nutrient deficient soils.
It is an agressive seral species of avalanche chutes and disturbed forests. It develops quickly following a fire by seedling establishment and resprouting of existing shrubs.
Seed Propagation: Seed Propagation Method: Direct Seeding, not tried.
Seeds/Kg: 290,400/kg
Seed Processing: Seed is collected when capsules turn brown. It is necessary to tie fine mesh bags around the developing seed capsules: seeds disseminate quickly upon ripening. Seeds are tan at maturity.
Seed longevity is up to 20 years in dry storage.
Seed dormancy is classified as physical and physiological dormancy.
Seed Treatments: Seed is scarified with sulfuric acid for 20 to 30 minutes followed by a neutralization of lime; 48 hour running water soak. 90 day cold moist stratification. A hot water scarification for 10 minutes followed by a 60 day damp peat stratification has been used successfully.
Sowing/Planting Technique: Seed is hand sown, covered with media.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, University of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1973.
Seeds of the Woody Plants in North America, Young and Young, Dioscorides Press, 1992.
Seeds of the Woody Plants in the United States, Agriculture Handbook No. 450, U.S.F.S., Washington D.C., 1974.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition, Deno, N., published June,1993.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale; Hosokawa, Joy. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Ceanothus velutinus Dougl. plants 800 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/05/11). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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