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Holodiscus (discolor)

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

Family Scientific Name: Rosaceae
Family Common Name: Rose family
Scientific Name: Holodiscus discolor (Pursh) Maxim.
Common Synonym: Sericotheca discolor (Pursh) Rydb.
Common Name: Ocean-spray
Species Code: HOLDIS
Ecotype: Douglas-fir forest, Fish Creek, 1100m elev.
General Distribution: H. discolor occurs from B.C. to southern California, east to western Montana, Idaho, and northeastern Oregon; from coastal bluffs to lower elevation mountains.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 172 ml containers
Time To Grow: 18 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: 22 cm<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: firm plug in 172 ml containers.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are collected when achenes turn brown in October. Seeds are hand stripped from shrubs and collected in paper bags.
Seeds are kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are very small and is best cleaned by hand-rubbing the inflorescences against screens.
Seed longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: 11,700,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 50%
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed requires a 5 month cold, moist stratification.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Greenhouse and Outdoor Nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding or Transplanting Emergents.
Growing medium used is 6:1:1 milled sphagnum 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 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per 172 ml 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: Seeds or germinants are lightly covered with a thin layer of perlite after sowing.
Germination is non-uniform. Seedlings develop true leaves 1 week following germination and are thinned at this stage.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Seedling growth is rapid following germination. Plants respond to thinning quickly and produce 4 to 6 true leaves in 3 weeks. Plants are fertilized with 20-20-20 liquid NPK at 100 ppm and increase in height to 16 centimeters in 15 weeks.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 16 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK at 200 ppm during September. Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants are leached with clear water before winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 11 Months in 172 l container. 1.8 years in 3 L (1 gal) container.
Harvest Date: September
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Seeds require a prolonged stratification for adequate germination.
Seed propagated stock in 3L (1 gallon) were multi-branched and 45 centimeters in height 2 years after germination.

This species is recognized as a disturbance indicator. It grows well in dry, rocky sites in both forested and non forested communities; thus it is recommended for erosion control on road cuts.
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.
Glacier National Park Propagation Records, unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Evans, Jeff; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Holodiscus discolor (Pursh) Maxim. plants 172 ml containers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/10/23). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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