Seed & Bulb Program

Theodore Payne Foundation’s Seed & Bulb Program builds genetic diversity in the urban environment by providing native seed and bulbs to home gardeners, researchers, school gardens, education programs, community groups, and for restoration efforts, as well as through propagation in our own nursery. We also collect and store seed for TPF’s Local Source Initiative and Long Live LA seed bank, and collaborate with regional seed conservation and restoration projects including the Los Angeles Regional Native Seed Bank.

The program preserves valuable records regarding plant locality, fruiting and seeding habits of native species, associated photographs, seed viability data, and germination records. Garden-sourced seed donations are welcome and appreciated; please see our Seed Donation Guidelines.

Our Seed Regeneration Program, which continues Theodore Payne’s legacy of sustainable horticulture practices, helps us to offer unique species while protecting wild plant populations. Seeds are harvested under permit and in small quantities from the wild and cultivated to produce “second generation” seed, which is then made available to the public.

We offer seed from more than 200 different species of California native plants, including annuals, perennials, vines, trees, and shrubs. Seed and expert advice are available at our Sun Valley headquarters. Our Custom Seed Mix Service provides the opportunity to obtain a carefully researched, thoughtfully designed seed mix that is ecologically appropriate for your wild land interface site or a perfect guest favor for your special event. Seed, including Theodore Payne’s original wild flower mixes, can be purchased through our online store. Please note: We ship only within California.

California is home to hundreds of native geophytes, many of which are rare and endangered. Through its Bulb Program, TPF develops a deeper and broader understanding of these unique wild flowers. Staff and volunteers test and share horticultural practices to help expand the use and appreciate of these plants among horticulturists, botanists, professional gardeners, landscape designers, and the general public. Seed of bulb-forming plants are available for purchase year-round, and bulbs are offered every fall.