Seed Exchange Helpful LINKS

Links to websites and articles pertaining to Seed Collecting & Cleaning, Identification, and Germination, that members may find useful:

The Rock Garden Quarterly has many articles on seeds. Check pages 309-310 of the Cumulative index: . 

In particular,  Volume 65, number 3, Summer 2007 has many excellent articles, including by Kristl Walek on seed collecting, cleaning and storing; Tony Reznicek on propagating difficult small seed; Norman Deno on seed storage; Jane McGary on bulbs from seed and Carlo Balistrieri on seed sowing.

Kristl Walek and Graham Page have a new website Wild Plants from Seed - "Propagating Eastern Canada's Native Vascular Plant Species" with general guidelines as well as detailed descriptions on what the ripe seed looks like; how to collect, clean and store it; and how to germinate the seeds for over 650 species. 

Seed Collecting & Cleaning:

> Article by Vic Aspland from the Alpine Garden Society (AGS) website from The Alpine Gardener, September 2009 Use the link to “Seed Cleaning made Easy” pdf at the bottom of that webpage to read the complete article or this link

> Article by Jane McGary in the Rock Garden Quarterly vol. 59, no. 3 Summer 2001

> Fine Gardening website has an article from issue #80 by William Cullina titled “Starting Wildflowers from Seed” that has some good information on collecting, cleaning and sowing seed of woodland natives. It also includes specific information on hydrophyllic seed that need to be kept moist.

> Pacific Bulb Society Wiki has a section on Seed Cleaning Techniques that are applicable to a variety of seeds, not just bulb seeds . The wiki also has lots of photos to help with identification of bulb species.

Seed Identification:

> Use Google Images search to find images of seed - or select Images option if using basic Google search. Type in plant name or just genus and "seed" (e.g. "Campanula seed")  to view search results. Even if there is no image of the specific species you want to view, it should give you a good idea of what the seed looks like.

> Scottish Rock Garden Club (SRGC) Forum Topic page: Seed Identification: photos of named seed varieties has large range of seed images contributed by their Forum members. Use the search box if you are looking for specific genus/species. 

> The Seed Site  lists seeds and seedpods by size/shape or family

> The UK Hardy Plant Society  has a Library of Seed Images - photographed on graph paper for scale and searchable by name. It also has plant images

> Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

> A German website has some wonderfully detailed drawings of many seeds done by Miliza Tischler.

> Alexandra Berkutenko's family permitted NARGS access to the pages of seed images from her posthumously published book "Atlas of the Plant Seeds of the North Asia":

> El Herbario JACA - of Instituto Pirenaico de Ecologia (Spanish site*) arranged alphabetically

> Acta Plantarum: Seeds and other primary dispersion units  photo gallery (Italian site*)  arranged by family

> Lawrence Hill’s Fritillaria Icones website has images of Fritillaria seed in a pdf

> Swedish site*!home

> Tanya Harvey’s website on Mountains Plants of the Western Cascades (Oregon) has scans of seeds

> BotanyCa Seeds Shop at has a drop-down menu under  “ The Seeds Library” which shows several seed images, arranged by family  as well as a Germination Page

> Seeds of South Australia website has photos of plants, seedpods, and seeds for South Australian native plant species

> Arnold Arboretum’s Seed Herbarium  has images of seeds for several woody genera

> Norwegian site has images of seeds next to a ruler for scale 

> German seed company includes photos of seeds for many of their offerings

> is a website connected to the smart phone app for plant identification. The website contains photos and historical drawings of European plant species arranged by Family. Many of the illustrations include identification characters like flower, fruit and seeds, that may help in identifying what the seed should look like and to verify the plant name. 

Seed Germination:

> The Ontario Rock Garden & Hardy Plant Society website has a large germination database that covers many of the plants we grow

> Garden has a good article explaining use of GA3 to speed up seed germination for certain seeds -

> Starting Plants from Seed

> Norman C. Deno’s  “Seed Germination Theory and Practice” Second edition is now available in PDF format from the USDA website  as well as the First Supplement and Second Supplement

> Tom Clothier's website has lots of information on seed germination. He compiled a Taxonomic index spreadsheet based off of Deno’s work  that you can download , as well as alphabetical listing of seed germination for a wide range of perennials , and one specifically for Penstemon and seed collecting/cleaning

> NARGS member Rob Broekhuis is a great resource for all things seed and plant related. He shares his seed starting details on a wide range of seed .The website also has several great articles on seed starting and one specifically on using a baggy method for germinating seed  as well as other information on growing from seed.

> The Missouri Botanical Garden published this Native Seed Propagation Methods pdf which describes several methods of sowing seed and includes which method is best for various native species.

> The Royal Horticultural Society published a pdf guide for their membership "HARVESTED SEED GERMINATION REQUIREMENTS" that is available online

> Kootenay Local Agricultrual Society published a pdf guide "Perennial Seed Germination Information" which can be downloaded from a couple sites:  or

> Kristl Walek's Garden's North website had some great articles in her Germination Corner section. You can view an archived version using Wayback Machine here:


*Try Google translate to translate pages that are not in English (or your native language) - just be aware it may also "translate" the botanical names.

Please contact us if you know of any other websites related to seeds that may be useful to our members.