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Biscuitroot, Beardtongue, Buckwheat and Beyond Ann DeBolt and Nancy L. Shaw USDA-FS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Boise, ID Greg H. Lowry Idaho Crop.

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Presentation on theme: "Biscuitroot, Beardtongue, Buckwheat and Beyond Ann DeBolt and Nancy L. Shaw USDA-FS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Boise, ID Greg H. Lowry Idaho Crop."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biscuitroot, Beardtongue, Buckwheat and Beyond Ann DeBolt and Nancy L. Shaw USDA-FS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Boise, ID Greg H. Lowry Idaho Crop Improvement Association

2 USDA-FS Rocky Mountain Research Station Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project Supported by: USDI BLM Great Basin Restoration and Native Plant Initiatives Objective: Increase seed supplies of native plant species, particularly forbs, for the Great Basin

3 (Cronquist et al. 1972) The Great Basin BLM 75 million acres FS 20 million acres

4 RMRS - Boise Penstemon - BEARDTONGUE P. acuminatus – sand P. deustus – scabland P. speciosus – sagebrush Lomatium - BISCUITROOT L. dissectum - fernleaf L. grayi - Grays L. triternatum – nineleaf Eriogonum – BUCKWHEAT E. umbellatum – sulfur

5 Penstemon - BEARDTONGUE 3rd largest genus in Intermountain region (Scrophulariaceae) Approx. 250 species Showy tubular flowers 4 fertile stamens & 1 bearded stamen (beardtongue) Common forb in rangelands Insect pollinated, particularly bees Wildlife forage

6 Cultivated for many years Generally easy to grow, harvest, and manage Seed production by 2nd year, earlier than some forbs Seed dormancy; sow in fall for cold stratification Seed easily cleaned to a purity of 90+ percent 225,000 – 500,000+ seeds/lb Can be seeded in mixtures with most other herbs Will hybridize Cultural Practices

7 Penstemon acuminatus Sand penstemon Sandy soils at low elevations (650-1400 m) Short-lived perennial (2-6 dm) Flowers pale blue (April, May) Capsules open soon after ripening (550,000/lb)

8 Penstemon speciosus (Sagebrush penstemon) Distribution, Habitat, and Collection Sites Loamy soils from 1200-3300 m Short-lived perennial (4 dm) Wide-ranging species Blue-violet flowers (May-June) Capsules retain seed longer than previous sp. (508,000/lb) OREGON NEVADA Burns Boise

9 Penstemon deustus Scabland or hot-rock penstemon Variable sites and habitats, often rocky (800-2,550 m) Perennial with woody base (4 dm) Small white flowers (May, June) Wide ecological amplitude; 2 vars. in Intermountain Region Capsules remain closed at maturity (2,900,000/lb)

10 RESULTS Common gardens in ID, OR, NV - 2003-2006 Well drained soils essential due to damping off Developed TZ testing, cleaning protocols

11 Long stratification required: deustus10% acuminatus14% with 12 week treatment speciosus33% Dormancy related to environmental conditions GA3 reduces dormancy P. deustus more responsive to GA3 than P. acuminatus Pollinators not limited

12 Lomatium spp. L. dissectum Fernleaf biscuitroot L. grayi Grays biscuitroot L. triternatum Nineleaf biscuitroot

13 – 70 species in west/central N. America (Apiaceae) – Perennial herb, taproot often highly thickened – Individual flowers small, united in umbel – Flowers yellow (white); early spring growth – Pollinators - solitary bees – Common forb in rangelands – High forage value Lomatium - BISCUITROOT

14 Cultural Practices – Still learning how to grow & manage for seed production – Large seed, easily harvested, easily cleaned w/uniform ripening* – 30,000-50,000 seeds/lb – Early phenology - short irrigation season – Seed dormancy; sow in fall for cold stratification – Hybridization uncommon

15 Lomatium dissectum Fernleaf biscuitroot Large perennial (1.5 m) with large, thickened woody taproot Widespread on variable soils, medium to coarse 700-2600 m Leaves dissected Yellow (purple) flowers; early phenology (April-May)

16 Lomatium grayi Grays biscuitroot Rocky sites to moderately heavy soils 700-2800 m Strong, parsley-like odor; fly pollinated Highly dissected leaves (100s-1000s segments) Yellow flowers (April, early May) Harvest seed May/June

17 Lomatium triternatum Nineleaf biscuitroot Highly variable soils (600-2700 m) Perennial w/elongate, slightly thickened taproot Leaves with minimal dissection Yellow flowers (April) Harvest seed (May/June)

18 RESULTS Common garden seeded – fall 2004 Developed TZ testing, cleaning protocols – easily cleaned Seed ripening - L. grayi < L. triternatum < L. dissectum Early dormancy – no water after dormant Susceptible to aphids in greenhouse Long stratification required – immature embryos responsible Good seed production by 2 nd year

19 Eriogonum - BUCKWHEAT 150 species, chiefly in the W. U.S. (Polygonaceae) > 50 species in UT; many endemics Annual, perennial forb, or subshrub Flowers small, simple to compoundly umbellate (white, cream, yellow, or pink) Common rangeland plant Important nectar source for bees

20 Moderate to well-drained soil Seed is a 3-angled achene (120,000 – 145,000 seeds/lb) Easy to collect and clean to 90% purity Seed matures August/September At least 2 species have been grown for landscaping Pollinated by bees, wasps, flies Ripening uniformity Seed predators Cultural Practices

21 Eriogonum umbellatum Sulfur buckwheat Common, widespread species with numerous varieties 500-3100 m on variable soil types Yellow flowers – July/August; Harvest – August/Sept. Pollinators various - bees, wasps, flies, others

22 Erigonum umbellatum collection sites Still in the seed collection phase Common gardens – 2005/2006 Germination studies A prolific spreader from seed Seed quality and insect predators are problematic

23 BEYOND? Cooperative Native Seed Increase Program To accelerate development of native forb seed supplies, RMRS is collaborating with AOSCA & State Foundation Seed agencies in the GB to facilitate seed distribution to private growers.

24 Multi-state, multi-agency effort - facilitates collaboration across state lines with a greater number of species Coordinate w/BLM to identify forb species & populations Coordinate w/State Foundation Seed Agencies to distribute seeds to interested growers

25 SEED INCREASE PROGRAMS - Cooperative Native Seed Increase Program (RMRS coordinates with BLM on identification of plant materials for increase and w/AOSCA for program admin) - Buy-back Program (RMRS coordinates w/UCIA in Logan, UT for seed increase of plant materials generated by the Great Basin Native Plant Project)

26 Ann DeBolt Nancy Shaw Greg H. Lowry

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