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Spiraea (splendens)

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: Spiraea splendens Baumann ex K. Koch splendens
Common Synonym: Spiraea densiflora Nutt.
Common Name: Subalpine spiraea
Species Code: SPIDEN
Ecotype: Subalpine fir forest, Lunch Creek, 2000m elevation, Glacier National Park, Glacier Co., MT.
General Distribution: S. splendens var. splendens ranges from B.C. to Sierran California, east to southeast B.C., Idaho, Montana, and eastern Oregon. It is found mostly in higher elevation forests.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 172 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 8 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: 15 cm<br> Caliper: 7 mm<br> Root System: firm plug in containers.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are collected in early October when follicles turn brown and begin to split open. Seeds are light tan at maturity. Clusters of follicles are cut from using scissors. Material is collected in paper bags. Collections are kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are cleaned by hammermill and screens by NRCS.
Seed longevity is unknown.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: Unknown
% Purity: 80%
% Germination: N/A
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed are imbibed in water for 24 hrs and placed into a 75 day cold, moist stratification at 1 to 3 C. Seeds are placed in rolled, moistened paper towels and placed in open plastic bags under refrigeration.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Greenhouse and outdoor nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are surface sown for the light requirement. Stratified seeds can be surface dried just prior to sowing. This practice allows easier sowing of the tiny seeds.
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 germinate unevenly over a 4 week period. Medium must be kept evenly moist during germination and establishment. Seedlings are thinned at 2 to 4 true leaf stage.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Seedlings grow rapidly following establishment, and are fertilized weekly with 20-10-20 liquid NPK at 100 pmm.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 12 weeks
Hardening Phase: Plants are fertilized with 10-20-20 lquid NPK at 100 ppm in August and September. Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Containers are leached with clear water prior to winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 8 months from seed
Harvest Date: July and August
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Vegetative Propagation: This species can be propagated by summer softwood stem cuttings collected in early June.
Cuttings are 15 cm long, with flower buds removed. Cuttings are treated with 3,000 ppm IBA and placed in a mist bed with bottom heat set at 21 C. Cuttings are rooted in a 1:1 (v:v) sand and perlite rooting medium.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, University of Washington Press, 7th printing, 1990.
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation, Dirr and Heuser, Varsity Press, 1987.
Seeds of the Woody Plants in North America, Young and Young, Dioscorides Press, 1992.
Glacier Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Wick, Dale; Hosokawa, Joy. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Spiraea splendens Baumann ex K. Koch plants 172 ml conetainers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2019/12/06). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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