Milkweed Seed Distribution Program

Milkweed seedlings growing at the Wildflower Center

Seeds of three species of milkweed have been collected from local milkweed populations in four ecoregions in the north central part of the state: Edwards Plateau, Texas Blackland Prairie, Cross Timbers and East Central Texas Plains. These seeds are available for distribution by lottery in limited quantities.

Growers participating in Project Milkweed are expected to grow a new generation of milkweeds from the seeds they receive from the Wildflower Center and then use these plants as a starter population to increase seed production. The highest priority goes to commercial or non- profit organizations that will use these seeds to establish plants for future (second generation) seed production to sell commercially or donate to the public. We ask that the growers not sell the donated seed or the plants that arise directly from donated seed (first-generation plants).

To date, seven wholesale nurseries in Texas are participating in this effort.

Grower Participation

To participate, please follow these instructions:

1. Determine which seed is appropriate for you using the list of available milkweed species (below), the Level III Ecoregions of Texas Map and the Texas River Basin Map.

2. Provide us with the following information:

  • The name of each species you wish to receive.
  • The name of the ecoregion and river basin for which you will grow each species.
  • The number of seeds of each species you wish to receive.
  • Your mailing address/contact info for seed delivery.
  • An example entry will look like this: Antelopehorn milkweed (Asclepias asperula), Edwards Plateau, Colorado River, 500 seeds.

List of Available Milkweed Seed Ecotypes

Seeds of Asclepias asperula are available from the following Ecoregion and River Basins listed:

  • Ecoregion: Edwards Plateau
  • River Basins: Brazos, Colorado, Nueces and San Antonio
Milkweed germination protocol brochure

BROCHURE

Download a brochure about basic milkweed germination techniques.
Antelopehorns
(Asclepias asperula)
 Zizotes
(Asclepias oenotheroides)
Green antelopehorn
(Asclepias viridis)
 Ecoregion  River Basin
 Edwards Plateau  Brazos  52,000  0 0
 Colorado  16,500  0  0
 Nueces  6,500  0  0
 San Antonio  47,000  0  0

Grower Criteria

The Wildflower Center will donate seeds to commercial or non-profit nurseries for the purpose of establishing their own seed-increase plots. We require the following from growers:

  • We ask that the growers not sell the donated seed or the plants that arise directly from donated seed (first-generation plants). however, we encourage growers to sell or donate seed and second-generation seedlings produced from their own seed-production plots.
  • The use of neonicotinoids is not allowed. These systemic insecticides are known to harm pollinators and butterflies.

Note: Please refer to the Propagation Protocol provided for guidance. It is best if seed is soaked overnight then cold-moist stratified for 2 weeks to one month before sowing in the spring.

Ecoregion Requirements

The seed/plants grown from each ecoregion should be sold/donated to growers in the same ecoregion and river basin from which the original seeds were collected. If ecologically appropriate, milkweeds may be sold commercially/donated to the public in adjacent ecoregions. For example, milkweeds native to the Edwards Plateau ecoregion may also be grown in an adjacent ecoregions if the milkweed species is adapted to that ecoregion as well.

Reporting Requirements and Follow-up

We ask that program participants report the following results to the Wildflower Center:

End of Year 1:

  1. The number of first generation milkweed plants of each species that grow to maturity from seed.
  2. The number of seeds of each species that are collected from first generation plants. (Estimates – either seed counts or by weight are o.k.)
  3. The number of first generation milkweed seeds/plants of each species that are kept for second generation seed production.
  4. The number of seeds/plants of first generation milkweed plants of each species that are donated to the public.

End of Year 2:

  1. The number of second generation milkweed plants of each species that grow to maturity from first generation plants.
  2. The number of seeds of each species that are collected from field grown/container second generation plants. (Estimates – either seed counts or by weight are o.k.)
  3. The number of second generation milkweed seeds/plants of each species that are kept for third generation seed production.
  4. The number of second generation milkweed seeds/plants of each species that are sold.
  5. The number of second generation milkweed seeds/plants of each species that are donated to the public.

Milkweed Propagation

Download our Milkweed Propagation brochure to learn best practices for germinating milkweed seeds and growing plants.