Northeast Wild Seed Collectors is a group of passionate native plant advocates and volunteers who utilize this website to coordinate efforts in collecting local ecotype seeds from New England and New York states of plants that are of special value to pollinators and other wildlife. We are very excited to be getting this ball rolling or, should we say, seed germinating!!
Why Local Ecotype Seeds
Access to local ecotype seeds in the northeastern US is pretty minimal, relative to most other regions of the United States. Some may question, does it really matter that we use local ecotype seeds? Though there hasn’t been a lot of research, many horticulturalists have noted how plants of the same species from different regions can have slightly to considerably different flowering times and some growth differences which may not mesh with the phenology (timing) or preferences of the local pollinators or other wildlife, due to a long co-evolutionary history. We know it can’t hurt and what better excuse to get out and take a walk on the wild side.
We are focusing our seed collecting efforts in the New England and New York states which represent five (5) EPA Level III Eco-Regions of the Continental United States. It will be our intent to identify the Level III Ecoregion of each seed collection and suggest that the native nurseries and seed companies supply this information to their customers.
The main intent of this website it to let seed collectors know what are the Seeds Needed by regional native plant and seed companies and what are the Collecting Protocols for Northeast Wild Seed Collectors. If you are an interested collector, please review these pages and let us know when you are on the path of a plant on the list!
Regional Native Plant and Seed Companies
The overall goal of this effort is to support New England/New York state native plant growers and seed suppliers to gain access to local eco-type native seeds. If your nursery or seed company is interested in being included here, please let us know, see Contact below. Seeds will not be sent to individuals, as we do not want to compete with local native plant and seed businesses.
As we nurseries continue to sell native plants that are not from locally-sourced seeds, we will continue to threaten our local ecotype seed base as the true local natives cross with the imports, native plants species of seeds grown from outside our region. If you are a nursery selling native plants, you may have heard a customer question “where are your plants from”. Though most people do not seem to truly understand what is meant by local ecotype, the word and interest is getting out there. It is not just that the plant is here now, but that its parentage is hundreds, if not thousands, of years, of this region.
Current regional nurseries and seed suppliers being supported:
Northeast Pollinator Plants, Fairfax, VT.
River Berry Farm, Fairfax, VT.
Wild Seed Project, Portland, ME.
Full Circle Gardens, Essex, VT.
Edgewood Nursery, Falmouth, ME
Bronx River Wildflower Corridor, Roseanne Andrade, coordinator, Bronx, NY
This Website Includes:
- Collecting Protocols for how to’s on communicating about and collecting wild seeds for Northeast Wild Seed Collectors.
- Seeds Needed with photos and links to identification keys.
- Resources for becoming a further informed advocate.
- Blog for the coordinator to periodically post updates.
Thanks for being part of the solution!
Jane Sorensen, project coordinator
Information Sources (Please support and/or purchase/utilize these resources):
Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, website.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Native Plants/Special Value to Native Bees, website.
Wildflowers of New England, Ted Elliman and The New England Wild Flower Society, book.
Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Lawrence Newcomb, book.
Go Botany, Dichotomous Key, Native Plant Trust, (formerly the New England Wildflower Society) website.
Missouri Botanical Garden: Plant Finder, website.
Illinois Wildflower, website.
Biota of North American Program – North American Plant Atlas, website.
Wildflowers: A Guide to Growing and Propagating Native Flowers of North America, William Cullina, book.
Native Seed Production Manual, Tallgrass Prairie Center, manual pdf.
An Assessment of the Need for Native Seeds and the Capacity for Their Supply, Interim Report, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.