Wildflower Center Seed Bank

The Wildflower Center collects and stores seed from keystone species in the plant communities of Texas. These seeds are used by research scientists in propagation studies and reintroduction and environmental restoration efforts; they are also safeguarded as a hedge against possible extinction in the wild.

Why Collect Seeds?

Pressures on the environment are so great in many areas that it is not always possible to conserve plants in their natural habitats. While we cannot always guarantee the safety of a plant in even the best-protected nature reserve, plant seeds can be kept safely for hundreds of years in a seed bank. Should a plant become extinct in the wild, with its seeds stored in a seed bank, it will not be lost forever. Seed banks are very efficient and cost effective means of conserving plants, because the seed occupies very little space and requires only periodic attention.

About Our Program

The Wildflower Center’s seed collection program is built primarily on the cooperation of private landowners and the hard work of more than 100 trained volunteers. Volunteers in the field watch and monitor the plants making it possible for the Center to collect in multiple places at one time. We encourage landowners to become seed collectors themselves.

Seed Sharing

We are prohibited by institutional policy from sharing seeds from the seed bank for purposes other than scientific research.To request seed from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s seed bank for your research, please contact the curator of the seed bank.

If you are seeking seed of native plants to grow in your garden, please check our website for local native plant suppliers who may have the plant that interests you.

Related Resources

  • Macro images of seeds in our collections
  • Images of seedlings, part of an effort to document the different growth stages (cradle to grave) of wildflower species commonly found in mail order seed packets. About 100 species were tracked, about 75% of which were native to the U.S. Aerial and side views of the plants were taken at the first true leaves stage, mid-growth, and flowering stage. View Seedling Images.

Based at the Wildflower Center

  • Ongoing


Discover the Native Plants of North America