Soil from four native prairie remnant sites was used as inoculum in pot culture to achieve vesicular–arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) infection of Sudangrass [Sorghum sudanense (Piper) Stapf]. The prairie sites varied in their management histories and degradation levels. Sudangrass plants that became infected with VAM grew better than those grown in standard pasteurized greenhouse mix or those grown in a pasteurized greenhouse–prairie soil mix. Soil from prairie remnants may serve as a beginning source of inoculum that can be increased via Sudangrass pot culture for inoculation of prairie plant seedlings in nursery production.
Fir seedling transplant containers were used as an alternative to conventional plug containers (72 per tray) in a system to grow seedlings of native prairie perennials and install them on a highway site in central Indiana. Plants grown in deep-tube fir-seedling containers exhibited greater fresh and dry weights than conventional plug transplants with no root circling. Results from survival data indicate that plants grown in fir seedling containers offer better chances of success on highway sites with low soil fertility and poor soil structure. A chronology of installation methods, tools, and mechanization possibilities is presented.
Seedlings of six species of native prairie perennial forbs were installed monthly from Oct. 1993 to Nov. 1994 on two highway sites near West Lafayette, Ind. Survival varied significantly among species. Overall, 85% of Aster novae-angliae seedlings survived compared to 15% survival of Liatris pycnostachya seedlings. Survival also varied significantly with time of installation. Three species (Aster novae-angliae, Ratibida pinnata, and Veronicastrum virginicum) exhibited 95% survival when planted in mid-October, compared to 50% survival when planted in March. Fifty-seven percent survival of Echinacea pallida seedlings was observed with April plantings, compared to 9% survival of September plantings. Results of this study indicate that transplant survival rates of particular prairie species may be enhanced by precise timing of planting in late fall or early spring.
Interest in direct-seeding establishment of wildflowers as a component of landscape planting has continued to increase. Seed may be very expensive. Information is needed on the quality of seed available to consumers and the landscape industry. The goal of this work was to assess the level and consistency of seed quality available from the wildflower seed production/marketing industry. Eleven species of native prairie forb wildflowers and eight species of “garden” wildflowers from seven companies were purchased in 1992 and 1993 and subjected to germination testing. Germination procedures were those of AOSA where available, or generalized from the literature when no guidelines existed. Results showed significant variation among wildflower species, among companies supplying the same species, and over the two seed years tested in the study. These data reinforce the need for seed quality testing and reporting as a part of the sales of wildflower seed.
Dormant bud tissue from two or more trees representing 18 red maple (Acer rubrum L.) cultivars was subjected to isozyme analyses using starch-gel electrophoresis. Polymorphic enzymes resolved were alcohol dehydrogenase, peroxidase, phosphoglucase isomerase, glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, leucine aminopeptidase, acid phosphatase, and malic dehydrogenase. An enzyme pattern or combination of patterns was useful in identifying individual cultivars, these included: `Autumn Blaze', `Autumn Flame', `Bowhall', `Celebration', `Columnare', `Curtis', `Doric', `Firedance', `Gerling', Y.J. Drake', `Morgan', `Northwood', `Scarlet Sentinel', `Schlesingeri', and `Tilford'. `Armstrong', `October Glory', and `Red Sunset' could not be distinguished from each other on the basis of enzymes examined in this study.