Rating System for Restoration Potential

PROVEN PERFORMERS. This class consists of species that produce abundant seed that is easy to collect, store, and germinate, and have seedlings that grow quickly to produce flowering plants in one season. These species could be used with the highest probability of immediate success in the initial phase of a woodland restoration project and would be the easiest for commercial growers to supply. Examples include Stachys tenuifolia, Solidago ulmifolia, Mimulus ringens, Bromus pubescens, and Carex sparganoides.

HIGH restoration potential. These species may be limited in one character, such as number of seeds produced, but have the capacity to establish and reproduce quickly. Examples include Carex davisii, Cornus rugosa, and Symphoricarpos orbiculatus.

MEDIUM restoration potential. Many species are included in this category because they are easy to propagate from seed but seed availability is severely limited due to small populations, limited seed production per plant, and/or narrow windows of opportunity for seed collection. Examples include Phlox divaricata, Podophyllum peltatum, Desmodium glutinosum, and Claytonia virginica.

LOW restoration potential. These species have a combination of low seed production, seeds that need to be stored moist (and are often subject to deterioration), low germination rates, and are slow-growing, requiring several years to reach reproductive maturity. Examples include Chaerophyllum procumbens, Carex pennsylvanica, Anemonella thalictroides, and Lilium michiganense.

*Species that have not been assigned a rating require further observation and experimentation. If you have experience collecting, storing, and/or propagating these species, please consider contributing to this database by submitting information to Cathy McMullen (mabry@iastate.edu).