Plant Materials

Northwest Plant Materials

The IAE Northwest Plant Materials Program works with partners throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond to improve the availability of plant materials, primarily seeds, for restoration and management of native habitats and species. We form partnerships, including formal partnerships such as the Willamette Valley Native Plant Partnership and North Coast Native Plant Partnership, with a wide variety of organizations to improve seed markets and stabilize the supply of and demand for native seeds. To enhance the species and genetic diversity of plants available for habitat restoration, we collect seed from the wild and increase it through carefully managed, source-identified agricultural production. We convene seed producers and users through the Native Seed Network and the National Native Seed Conference.

Native Seed Production Farm

The NW Plant Materials Program manages a 2.5 acre farm at Oregon State University. We grow over 35 native species to produce seed that will be used in restoration and recovery projects. We work with a diverse group of partners to help meet their plant material needs. The farm also uses space at the OSU greenhouse to produce plugs that go directly to restoration sites. We grow a combination of threatened and endangered species, nectar species for butterflies, and species selected by partner organizations. The species we grow represent floral communities from multiple habitat types including upland and wet prairies, montane meadows, coastal prairies, and estuaries. Some of the species we’re currently growing include:

  • Field chickweed (Cerastium arvense)
  • Kincaid’s lupine (Lupinus oreganus)
  • Oregon iris (Iris tenax)
  • Oregon sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum)
  • Narrowleaf onion (Allium amplectens)
  • Western buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis)
  • Western yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • Willamette daisy (Erigeron decumbens)
Native seed production farm in full bloom, May 2021. Photo by Shinji Kawai.

Wild Seed Collection

Our wild seed collection program focuses on seed collection for native seed increase fields, plugs, and restoration projects. We also participate in the Bureau of Land Management’s Seeds of Success program each year.

Annie Lamas and Annamarie Pfiefer sidling up next to Small flowered blue eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora). This was a seed collection request for Mary’s Peak restoration efforts.

Regional Seed Partnerships

The NW Plant Materials Program coordinates two regional seed partnerships: Willamette Valley Native Plant Partnership and Coastal Native Seed Partnership. Regional seed partnerships provide a venue for committed partners to share resources, knowledge, and capacity. They are designed to increase the availability and diversity of ecologically appropriate native seed while facilitating regional native seed industries, with the ultimate goal of improving restoration success. To read more about our seed partnerships, click on the links above.

Narrowleaf onion field. Photo by Kate Wellons.