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Julia L. Bohnen and Anne M. Hanchek

The Legislative Commission on Minnesota's Resources funded a two year research project to promote expansion of the native wildflower and grass seed industry in Minnesota. Production of seeds and plants for landscaping and restoration is a growing sector of the horticultural industry, yet documentation of production techniques is sketchy due in part to the large number of species. The species Lilium philadelphicum (wood lily), Phlox pilosa (prairie phlox), and Spartina pectinata (prairie cordgrass) were selected for further analysis of germination requirements. These species were noted by producers as having poor and/or unreliable germination. Cold moist stratification and gibberellic acid (GA) treatments were applied Total percent germination and mean days to germination were calculated and analyzed after 30 days under greenhouse growing conditions. Stratification improved total percent and mean days to germination in L. philadelphicum. P. pilosa responded to treatment by both stratification and GA. Four weeks of stratification may be the best method for decreasing mean days to germination while obtaining adequate total percent germination for S. pectinata.

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Julia L. Bohnen and Anne M. Hanchek

Production of native seeds and seedlings for landscaping and restoration is an expanding horticultural industry in Minnesota, but seed yields of many species from wild stands are often small and vary widely in quality. In this work, we document phenological development and seed yield in cultivated and prairie-grown plants for Tradescantia ohiensis Raf. (Ohio spiderwort), Dalea purpurea Vent. (purple prairie clover), and Spartina pectinata Link (prairie cordgrass) at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. For T. ohiensis, seed yield under cultivation was significantly greater than in the prairie both seasons, with 2.5 g of seed recovered per plant in 1993. Under cultivation, seed yield of established D. purpurea was triple that of the prairie, yielding 34 seeds per inflorescence. S. pectinata grown under cultivation from seedlings or rhizome divisions produced seed in the first and second seasons, respectively, while plants in the prairie remained vegetative. Two-year-old seedlings produced 38 seeds per spike. Field cultivation of these native plant species resulted in increased seed yield and improved growth, while allowing phenological monitoring and the use of species-specific harvest practices.