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Germination Methods

Most woodland herbaceous species demonstrate higher germination after a period of cold, moist stratification (see below). Germination may occur during stratification (like with Arisaema triphyllum or Smilacina racemosa) or after stratification. If germination has been observed for a species during stratification, it is noted in the propagation notes. Qualitative comments on seedling survivorship were gathered primarily from greenhouse observations following transfer of seeds or seedlings from the stratification container to a greenhouse flat with soil. Read more about Germination Methods

Glossary of Terms

Achene--dry, indehiscent fruit, usually one-seeded

Berry--fleshy fruit, containing several or many seeds; any pulpy or juicy fruit

Bracts--specialized leaf from near the stem where a flower or flower stalk originates; any reduced or modified leaf that is associated with a flower but is not a part of the flower itself

Calyx--collective term for all of the sepals of a flower

Capsule--dry, dehiscent fruit composed of more than one compartment (carpel) containing seeds Read more about Glossary of Terms

About Native Iowa Woodland Understory Restoration

Many Iowa woodlands no longer contain the diversity of herbaceous and woody species that once provided soil stabilization, nutrient retention and recycling, soil organic matter, and wildlife food and habitat. Woodlands in private ownership that have been used as pasture for many decades suffer from soil compaction, soil loss, and a ground cover composed of few species, most of which are cool-season exotics like Kentucky bluegrass and smooth brome. Other woodlands that have been protected on private land and in state parks, preserves, and wildlife areas, suffer from severe herbivory by dense deer populations and invasions by exotic trees (like buckthorn, white mulberry, Siberian elm, and black locust), exotic shrubs (like bush honeysuckles, multiflora rose, and Japanese barberries), and exotic herbaceous species (like garlic mustard). The pre-1900 logging history in Iowa followed by over a century of fire suppression, cattle grazing, and numerous introductions of invasives species have significantly altered Iowa's woodlands and greatly reduced their capacities to function within the landscape. Read more about About Native Iowa Woodland Understory Restoration