Seed Program

The TPF Seed Program was founded in 1960 through a collaboration between Theodore Payne and Hollywood native Ed Peterson, who received a degree in botany from UCLA and ultimately became the eldest surviving member of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club. Peterson created, directed and ran the operations of our seed program for 40 years. He was a soft-spoken, well-loved man who lived to the age of 100 and continued to collect native seeds throughout his life.

Today, the TPF seed bank serves to build genetic diversity in the urban environment by providing seed to home gardeners, habitat and restoration efforts, school gardens, education programs and community groups, as well as onsite plant propagation for our retail nursery. Seed donations are welcome and appreciated; please see our guidelines. We also collect and store seed for the TPF Local Source Initiative and preserve valuable records regarding plant locality, fruiting and seeding habits of native species and associated photographs, seed viability data, germination records and storage guidelines. [Seed Donation Guidelines].

Local Source Initiative (LSI)
The LSI is a collaborative effort between the Nursery and Seed programs to protect biodiversity by making available plants that are grown from seed and/or cuttings from plants from our local region. Learn more.

Special Projects 
TPF is proud to be a partner in Wildflowering L.A., a seed planting initiative by artist Fritz Haeg and curated by LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) with a grant from the James Irvine Foundation. The project encompasses 50 Los Angeles County sites where wildflower meadows are being cultivated by local citizens on highly visible private and public land. In preparation for sowing, many participants conducted turf or exotic weed removal on their sites.

Education and Outreach
The Seed Program offers classes on seed sowing, harvesting, processing and storing as part of TPF’s Adult Education Program and Speakers Bureau.