NANPS Seed Exchange
NANPS Seed Exchange is open to all members across the continent and relies on your participation. Please use your discretion when ordering seeds and select only from sources near you. Growing local genotypes is important, even if a species is widespread.
Please remember to send in seeds from your native plant gardens...or from ethically-collected wild sources...as early as possible. The November issue of the Blazing Star contains a list of seeds and donors. The second round of the seed exchange is published with the February issue.
There are over 10,000 species of vascular plants native to temperate North America. Our seed exchange offers you the chance to increase the population of only a few of these. Please help North American flora to flourish by growing locally native plants in your own garden and offering some of their seed to our Exchange. Donations of seed ethically collected (less than 10% from a healthy population of relatively common species; otherwise do not collect!) from wild sources is also welcome.
If you are able to donate, please tell us
- where you are growing your plants
- where they originated (ie. parent source)
Genetic provenance is an important consideration when selecting seeds from the Seed Exchange and whatever information you are able to provide about the origin of your seed is appreciated.
NANPS Seed Exchange is open to members only. If you are not yet a member, you may join online now or include your membership form with your seed request.
NANPS seed exchange started in the Fall of 1988 and has been running continuously ever since.
Seeds are most often contributed from NANPS members' gardens, but some donations are wild collected. Once seed is sent to us we endeavour to store it appropriately (e.g. moist medium for hydrophilic seed, refrigeration at the appropriate time). We are only able to do this after the seed is mailed to us.
The purpose of the exchange is to make native plant seed of known provenance available to members at nominal cost. It is not our intention to generate revenue from the seed exchange, but simply to cover the costs of packaging and mailing. In order to export seed to the United States, we are required to obtain a phytosanitary certificate, which adds an additional cost for our American members. We cannot ship seeds of shrubs, trees, vines and some proscribed grass species to the U.S.
We recommend that members order seed that originates from their bioregion (the general rule of thumb is within a 200-kilometre range, or 125 miles). The same species grown at different locations will be listed separately, so that members can select the seed source closest to where they live.
The list of available seed is mailed to members with the Fall and Winter editions of our quarterly newsletter, the Blazing Star. Members are asked to send us their seed requests from the Fall edition by the second weed of January for mailing by the end of the month. Seed requests from the Winter (February) edition of the Blazing Star are due before March 31st for response by mid April. The seed exchange resumes again in the fall.
Seed donors may request up to 30 packets; other members may order a maximum of 15 packets. Where available seed is limited, requests from seed donors will be given priority. All seed orders will be date-stamped and distribution will be on a first-come, first-serve basis, but the seed requests of all donors will be dealt with before the seed requests of others.
Native plant seed with provenance noted should be sent to:
P.O. Box 84, Station D, Toronto, Ontario M9A 4X1