Current and Potential Utility of Broadleaf Herbs for Sagebrush Communities Scott Walker and Nancy Shaw Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Ephraim, UT and USDA-FS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Boise, ID.
The Great Basin (From Cronquist, A., et al 1972)
Impacts – Principal Livestock Grazing Weed Invasion
Restoration Practicality • Reduction of weedy competition • Preparation of suitable seedbeds • Restoration of diverse communities • Planting site-adapted species • Recovery of residual native species
Increased Diversity of Plant Communities * Broader range of organisms. * Cover and soil stabilization. * Forage availability extended. * Improve esthetics. *Higher quality forage. * Supplies critical nutrients and succulence. *Fruits, seeds, and leaves of forbs are frequently a principal food for upland game birds
Grasses Shrubs Forbs Availability & Utility of Principal Native Species
Status of Broadleaf Forbs for Restoration • Large number of plant associations • Moderate number of species present • Few species occupy broad range of sites • Individual taxa consist of diverse ecotypes
In the Management of Any Land Type It Is Important to Recognize All Sites Support a Particular Array of Species. • All plant communities have evolved to support a particular group of compatible species. • These species provide the most complete and effective group of plants for the particular landscape, climate, and exist over time.
Native forbs offer unique challenges in seed collecting, handling and seeding • Usually hand collected • Wildland seed production can be highly erratic • Cost and availability are unpredictable • Seed handling guidelines have not been developed • Seeding requirements and cultural practices have not been developed
Western Yarrow Louisiana sage Pacific aster Blueleaf aster Cicer milkvetch Arrowleaf balsomroot Crownvetch Geranium Utah sweetvetch One flower helianthella Cow Parsnip Ligusticum Lewis flax Lomatium Lupine Alfalfa Yellow sweetclover Sainfoin Sweetanise Penstemon Small burnet Butterweed groundsel Canada goldenrod Globemallow Clover Showy goldeneye Principal Broadleaf Forbs Recommended For Seeding Sage and Mt. Brush Communities.
Most Commonly Seeded Forbs Pounds purchased in 2000* Species *BLM Purchases in 2000
Other Seed Purchased Pounds purchased in 2000* Species *BLM Purchases in 2000
Forb species were listed as having potential for rangeland restoration. Of the 76 forbs species listed, 63 were natives 13 were introduced.
Seed Bed Preparation Soil disturbance Seed coverage Safe sites for establishment Micro sites for increasing moisture retention
Alfalfa(Medicago sativa) Dry land types are hybrids between the rhizomatous M. falcata (yellow flower) and the deep rooted M. sativa (purple flower). Dry land types adapted to the great basin at >10” (persists best at 12 +) precipitation. Fruit: legume Germination: Very little dormancy. Will germinate with fall moisture and is susceptible to winter kill. Seed as dormant seeding LATE fall or early spring.
Small Burnet: (Sanguisorba minor) Very palatable semi-evergreen, nitrogen fixer, highly nutritious. Cultivar: Delar. Establishes well when seed drilled (at ¼ to ¾ in.), or aerial applied and covered. Establishes well at 12” precipitation does not withstand heavy grazing at dryer sites.
Utah Sweetvetch: (Hedysarum boreal) Palatable legume, deep rooted, occurring in sagebrush, pinyon/juniper, and oakbrush types. Cultivar: Timp. Seed: Has a lomented pod that disarticulates at ripening. 34,000 seeds per pound. Fall seed, some dormancy requiring 1 month stratification. Seed at ½ in., 2 lbs per acre.
Cicer Milkvetch:(Astragalus cicer) Adapted to upper sagebrush, pinyon/juniper, and oakbrush (>14”). Good forage and seed producer. Bird and small mammals utilize the seed. Released varieties: Lutana, Monarch. Sainfoin:(Onobrychis viciafolia) Non-bloating legume, adapted to >12 inches precipitation. Highly palatable and nutritious, is preferred by deer, elk, and sage grouse.Seed: 18,000 seeds per lb. Seed at 2 to 5 lbs per acre in mix. Released varieties: Eski, Remont.
Western Yarrow(Achillia millifolium) Cultivar: Variety from Eagle Id. Will be released soon Wide distribution Used by hens and chicks, harbors insects. Very small seed- 4 million per pound. Surface seed in the Fall, 0.25 to 1 lb per acre. Establishes readily.
Pacific Aster:(Aster chilensis) Asters as a group are an important component to the native communities. Consist of a broad array of species. Small seeded 2.5 million seeds per pound. Requires 2-4 week stratification Balsamroot:(Balsamoriza spp.) Wide spread in Intermountain area. Early spring green up, good wildlife forage. Large seeds, 55,000 per pound. Slow to establish, but very persistent.
Showy Goldeneye: (Viguiera multifora, V. nevadensis.) V. multiflora- broadly adapted to many vegetative types. When purchasing seed be sure of the source. Ranges from Sage, p/j to sub alpine. V. nevadensis- occurs in drier sites in the Great Basin. Small seeded 1 million per pound. Does well on surface, can be drilled. Good seed producer with strong seedlings. Early spring green up. Readily sought out by wildlife as a herbaceous forage, and seed is utilized by birds.
Hawksbeard:(Crepis spp.)Fleabane:(Erigeron spp.)Salsify:(Tragopogon spp.) Seed: Generally small seeded, but do establish well on disturbed sites. Little information on seed and seeding requirements. No current releases The importance of these species to sage grouse and other wildlife is becoming more understood.
Forbs Broadleaf Forbs Family Genus Common name . Apiaceae Lomatium Desert parsley Linaceae Linum Flax Malvaceae Sphaeralcea Globemallow Polygonaceae Eriogonum Desert Buckwheat Scrophulariaceae Penstemon Penstemon
Forb Releases Species Origin Release Class _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Eriogonum niveum SD Umatilla Cultivar E. umbellatum CA Sierra Cultivar Linum perenne SD Appar Cultivar (escaped?) Lomatium spp. --- ----------- ---------- Penstemon eatonii UTRichfield Selected P. palmeri UTCedar Cultivar P.strictus NM Bandera Cultivar P.venustus ID Clearwater Selected Sphaeralcea coccinea ID ARS-2936 Germplasm S. munroana UT ARS-2892 Selected
Seed Quality Testing Species Germination Rule Viability Test Eriogonum X Linum X L. perenne X Lomatium Penstemon XX P. eatonii X P. palmeri X P.strictus X P.venustusX Sphaeralcea X S. coccinea S. munroana
Family LinaceaeLinum perenne var. ’Appar’Perennial Blue Flax • Widely adapted • Produced in seed fields • Easily seeded • Establishes in mixtures
Linum lewisiiLewis flax, Wild blue flax • Widely distributed • Considerable intraspecific variation • Great Basin cultivar being developed
Family: PolygonaceaeEriogonum spp. , Wild buckwheat E. heracleoides Wyeth buckwheat E. ovalifolium Oval-leaf buckwheat E. niveum Snow buckwheat E. umbellatum Sulfurflower buckwheat
Eriogonum: Seed Inflorescence: Umbel Fruit: 3-angled achene Seeds/pound: 120,000 (E. umbellatum) 600,000 (E. niveum) Harvest: Summer - Fall Cleaning: Screen, chop, screen Seed quality: Viability test available. Germination: Species and ecotypic variation occur.
Eriogonum: Seeding Time: Fall. Method: Drill (shallow), broadcast. Germination: Prechilling usually required. Seedlings/stand: Pioneering species.
‘Umatilla’ Snow BuckwheatEriogonum niveum Origin: Umatilla Co., Oregon Area of use: Interior Pacific Northwest.
Family ApiaceaeLomatium spp. , Biscuitroot, Wild parsley • 70 species, nearly all in Western U.S. • Lower elevation sagebrush to subalpine • Early spring growth • Plants usually scattered
Lomatium spp.: Seeds and Seeding • Seed supply unreliable • Hand harvested • Fruits flat, winged, easily • cleaned and seeded • Seedlings vigorous • No cultivars, germination • test or viability procedure L. triternatum Nine-leaved biscuitroot
Family MalvaceaeSphaeralcea spp., Globemallow • 25 species in the West, most common in the Southwest • 8-12 inch precipitation zone • Establishes during wet years, persists in seedbank • Several ploidy levels occur • One of the few forbs seeded in salt desert shrublands S. munroana Munro globemallow S. grossulariifolia Gooseberryleaf globemallow
Sphaeralcea spp.: Seeds and Seeding • Flowering indeterminate • Seed collected by hand • 500,000 seeds per pound • Drill seed or broadcast and cover • Seeds require scarification and prechilling • Germplasm releases: • ARS-2936 S.coccinea • ARS-2892 S. munroana • No germination or viability test S. munroana Munro globemallow
Family ScrophulariaceaePenstemon spp., Penstemon P. speciosus P. deustus P. peckii P. fruticosus
Penstemon: Seed • Harvested from native stands or seed fields • Seed small (100,000 to 600,000 per pound) • Seed easily cleaned and handled • Longevity of seed in dry storage: 4 to 6 years • Field culture and seed production studied
Penstemon: Seeding • Fall seeding -prechilling often required • Drill (shallow) or broadcast and cover • Can be seeded with other small seeded forbs and shrubs • Matures fairly rapidly • Germination rule and TZ procedures available.
Penstemon: Releases Scientific Common Release Release name name Origin name type . P. eatonii Firecracker UTRichfield Selected P. palmeri PalmerUT Cedar Cultivar P.strictus Rocky Mt. NM Bandera Cultivar P.venustus Alpine ID Clearwater Selected
The Pre-variety Germplasm Release ProgramA “Fast Track” Alternative Release Procedure Certification type: Site-Identified Verified for geographic origin. No comparisons made with other germplasms of the species. Selected Class Germplasm compared on a common site with other germplasms. Tested Class Progeny tested to ensure that observed traits are heritable and stable. Cultivar/Variety Tested material for which there is considerable market demand.
Research Requirements • Plant ecology • Ecotypic variability and distribution • Plant biology • Seed characteristics, germination requirements • Seedbed ecology and establishment • Field culture and seed production • Forb genetics • Revegetation genetics
Candidate SpeciesIdentification and ranking of important species • Field surveys • Distribution • Wildlife habitat values • Summary list
Species Proposed for Development Astragalus convallarius A. lentiginosus Crepis acuminata Erigeron pumilus Eriogonum corymbosum E. ovalifolium Hedysarum borealis utahensis Lomatium nuttallii Lupinus argenteus Penstemon attenuatus P. deustus P. speciosus Sphaeralcea coccinea Vicia americana Viguiera multiflora nevadensis