Growth and Survival of Two Western Milkweed Species

Asclepias speciosa with monarch butterfly

Are you the type of person who wants detailed, highly informed information about native plants and native plant propagation?

If so, you may be interested in reading a recent study that looked at the growth of showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) and narrowleaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) in nursery production. Collecting from various locations to increase genetic diversity for the study, Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds supplied the seeds of both species for this research. We are happy to be a part of the growing interest in research that will help the iconic monarch butterfly.

Read the study here:

Growth and Survival of Two Western Milkweed Species: Effects of Container Volume and Fertilizer Rate


Successful Native Seed Projects

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds are used in many different applications each year.

From commercial nursery production, to large and small habitat restoration projects, roadside revegetation, botanical gardens, native plant research, and backyard pollinator gardens — you name it! It gives us great satisfaction to see all the hard work come to life!

What does it take? Seed site reconnaissance, collection, cleaning, processing, packaging, and lots of time goes into the production of our local, wildcrafted native seeds. We pour our hearts into it because it feels so good to watch these native plants grow, provide habitat and restore ecosystems throughout the region.

Please enjoy this slide show featuring a few of the successful projects where Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds were used in 2017. Another great season watching native plants grown from seed thrive!

Do you have a photo of the plants you grew from our seed? If so we’d love to see it! To another year of successful native seed projects! Yay!

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Workshops and Presentations

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seed's hands-on native seed cleaning workshop at Sanctuary One

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seed’s hands-on native seed cleaning workshop at Sanctuary One animal sanctuary in the Applegate Valley.

KSNS logo

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds participates in many community outreach events, including presentations, panels, workshops, symposiums, small events, and large events that incorporate the use of native plants and native plant seeds into their themes or programs.

This week we had the honor of being invited to do a presentation at Sanctuary One animal sanctuary in the Applegate Valley in southern Oregon. After a one-hour Powerpoint presentation, “Using Native Seeds for Land Stewardship and Pollinator Habitat,” we provided some hands-on work with native seeds. Giving people, including kids, the opportunity to see the seeds, experiment with seed cleaning techniques and packaging the cleaned seeds allows for a deeper understanding of the native plants themselves and how they reproduce.

Workshop participants got to take seed home that they cleaned in the workshop to grow out on their own in the future. This workshop used basic household items to show that the collection and processing of native plant seeds can be done on a small scale without the need for expensive equipment.

Thanks to Sanctuary One for hosting such a great community event!

Contact us at if you would like us to incorporate native plant propagation, native plant conservation, or native plant seeds into your program, workshop, event, or presentation in southern Oregon or northern California.


Seed Collection is in Full Swing


Collecting seeds of meadow larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum) in a high elevation meadow on the Siskiyou Crest.

The seed collection field season is in full swing. The high elevation wildflowers are putting on a spectacular display this year, making it is hard to decide if I want to go see the high country wildflowers or stay in the low country to collect seed. Sometimes I can get the best of both worlds, as some early-blooming species are already going to seed in the high country. We have been collecting species like meadow larkspur (Delphinum nuttallianum) and Siskiyou lewisia (Lewisia cotyledon) that are ready in the higher elevations.

Meadow larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum) seed

Meadow larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum) seed

Meadow larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum)

Meadow larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum)

Siskiyou lewisia (Lewisia cotyledon) seed

Siskiyou lewisia (Lewisia cotyledon) seed

Ch 2 or Bot. feature Ch 9 Lewisia Cotyledon

Siskiyou lewisia (Lewisia cotyledon)

It’s a busy time of year for us at Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds. We are in the field as much as we can be, and when we’re not in the field we are processing and cleaning seeds. This all takes a lot of time and effort. We will have a great selection of species to choose from this fall! Don’t hesitate to give us a heads up if you are interested in seed for a particular species. We can keep an eye out for it as we get around the Klamath-Siskiyou region collecting seeds from far and wide. Email:

A time lapse video of cleaning Silver bush lupine (Lupinus albifrons) seed.


4th of July Wildflower Show in Ashland

Siskiyou Chapter Native Plant Society of Oregon is hosting the 4th of July Wildflower show in Ashland, Oregon

Siskiyou Chapter Native Plant Society of Oregon is hosting the 4th of July Wildflower show in Ashland, Oregon

Do you love the flora of the Klamath-Siskiyou? Come see over 300 species of wildflowers at the 4th of July Wildflower show in Ashland, Oregon.

Collected flowers are carefully arranged and identified for a quick and beautiful learning experience.

Want to help collect wildflowers for the show or help set up the show? No experience necessary. It’s a fun way to support native plant conservation and native plant awareness while learning along the way.

Thanks to the Siskiyou Chapter Native Plant Society of Oregon for putting on this fabulous show every 4th of July in Ashland, Oregon.

Volunteers needed for the 4th of July Wildflower show in Ashland, Oregon

Volunteers needed for the 4th of July Wildflower show in Ashland, Oregon

National Pollinator Week

National Pollinator Week!

June 19-25, 2017

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Native plants have evolved over millennia with native pollinators. Native plants depend on healthy pollinator populations for their survival, and native pollinators depend on native plants for their survival — they are inextricably linked!

This week we celebrate National Pollinator Week by showcasing some of the variety and beauty of native pollinators using native plants in this slideshow of photos taken by Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds. The diversity of pollinators we have in the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion is a direct result of the world-renowned plant biodiversity found here.

Pollinator ecology is a fascinating subject that one can spend a lifetime learning about. National Pollinator Week helps highlight the importance of pollinators and the need to take measures to protect pollinators into the future.

Plant natives for pollinators!

Happy National Pollinator Week

Native Sunflowers

Balsamhoriza deltoidea6

Checkerspot butterfly on deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea)

Summer is just around the corner, but some of our native sunflowers are already in bloom! Many plants in the Asteracea (Sunflower family) are commonly referred to as sunflowers, especially those with showy, round, yellow flower heads that look like the sun.

Below we will feature some Klamath-Siskiyou native plants belonging to the sunflower family. Numerous insects, including bees and butterflies, are attracted to plants in the sunflower family and planting native sunflowers will surely benefit native pollinators in your area.

Have you stumbled across Calscape while doing botanical research online? A program of the California Native Plant Society, Calscape provides basic horticultural information for California native plants. You can search specific species through the site, or if you search a plant through Calflora (the online flora database for California), you can click on the Calscape link at the bottom of the page and it will take you to the Calscape information for that particular species. I will use examples of Calscape descriptions in this blog post to help familiarize you with this resource if you haven’t used it before. Although Calflora and Calscape are specific to California flora, they provide very useful information for native plants that have ranges extending into Oregon and beyond.

Balsamorhiza deltoidea in the Siskiyou Mountains

Deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea) in the Siskiyou Mountains

Deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea)

Deltoid balsamroot is a spring blooming member of the sunflower family currently blooming in grasslands, rocky areas, among chaparral, and in sunny forested openings throughout the region.

Description on Calscape: “Balsamorhiza deltoidea is a species of flowering plant in the sunflower tribe of the plant family Asteraceae known by the common name deltoid balsamroot. It is native to western North America from British Columbia to California, where it grows in many types of generally mountainous habitat. This is a taprooted perennial herb growing erect to a maximum height near 90 centimeters. The stems and leaves are hairy. The large leaves are up to 25 centimeters long and 20 wide, and are roughly triangular in shape, hairy, and often toothed along the edges. The flower cluster bears usually one or sometimes a few large flower heads, each lined with hairy, pointed phyllaries up to 4 centimeters long. The head has a center of yellowish disc florets and a fringe of pointed yellow ray florets each up to 4 or 5 centimeters long. The fruit is an achene 7 to 8 millimeters in length.”

Deltoid balsamroot is deer resistant and drought tolerant. It needs good drainage and full sun to thrive. The seeds will need 60-90 days of cold stratification or winterization in order to germinate.

Deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea)

Deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea) with silver bush lupine (Lupinus albifrons)


Mule’s ears (Wyethia angustifolia)

Narrow leaf mule’s ears (Wyethia angustifolia)

Mule’s ears blooms after balsamroot.

Description on Calscape: “Narrow Leaf Mule Ears (Wyethia angustifolia) is a native perennial herb in the Asteraceae (Sunflower) family that grows in central and northern California. It tends to grow in stream banks and springs, at elevations from 0-5,500 feet, from the coast to the Sierras. It is winter dormant and dies back to the ground. It has large flowers, up to 3″ in diameter, that last from spring to summer.”

Another common name for narrow leaf mule’s ears is California compassplant. It tolerates a wide variety of soils as long as adequate drainage is provided. It is deer resistant and drought tolerant. The seeds will need 60-90 days of cold stratification or winterization in order to germinate.

Bumblebees getting ready for sleep on mules ears (Wyethia angustifolia)

Black-tailed bumble bees (Bombus melanopygus) on Mule’s ears (Wyethia angustifolia)

Helianthus bolanderi

Bolander’s sunflower (Helianthus bolanderi) growing in a garden.

Bolander’s sunflower (Helianthus bolanderi)

Sunflowers in the Helianthus genus (Greek: Helios, “sun” and anthos, “flower”), are uncommon in the Klamath-Siskiyou, but many native Helianthus species are found throughout eastern Oregon and California. Bolander’s sunflower is found in California and southern Oregon.

Description on Calscape: “Helianthus bolanderi is a species of sunflower known by the common names serpentine sunflower and Bolander’s sunflower. It is native to California and Oregon, where it grows mainly in mountainous areas, often in serpentine soils. This wild sunflower is an erect annual reaching heights over a meter. It has a hairy, rough stem with leaves lance- or oval-shaped, usually pointed, sometimes serrated along the edges, and 3 to 15 centimeters long. The flower cluster holds one or more flower heads, and each plant may have many flower clusters growing along the full length of the stem. The flower head has a cup of long, pointed phyllaries holding an array of bright yellow ray florets each one to two centimeters long around a center of yellow to dark purple or reddish disc florets. The achene is 3 to 5 millimeters long.”

Growing Bolander’s sunflower is as easy as growing any other sunflower. The seeds do not need pretreatment. Plant in the late spring or early summer. The maximum height of Bolander’s sunflower under irrigated garden conditions can exceed 5 feet or more. Plant in a sunny location.

Eriophyllum lanatum1

Oregon sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum)

Oregon sunshine/Common Wooly Sunflower (Eriphyllum lanatum)

Description on Calscape: “The Common Wooly Sunflower (Eriophyllum lanatum), also known as Oregon Sunshine, is a widespread, herbaceous dicot of the sunflower family Asteraceae. It is native to western North America, commonly growing in dry, open places below 10,000 feet, but it also grows on rocky slopes and bluffs. It is most common in California, primarily in the mountains of the northern part of the state where it is widespread. This perennial plant grows from 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 centimeters) in height. Flowers are yellow and composite, looking much like true sunflowers, and sometimes grow to 2 inches wide. Both the ray and disk flowers are yellow, with one flower head on each flowering stalk. The leaves are linear on the upper stems; the lower portions of the stem have slender, pinnately lobed leaves. The species exhibits great variability. There are many recognized varieties, and some are classified as rare.”

Oregon sunshine is deer resistant and drought tolerant. It grows in a wide variety of soil types as long as adequate drainage is provided. It naturally grows in dry openings in many different habitat types, especially in foothills and mountainous areas. Seeds will require 30-60 days of cold stratification in order to germinate.

Mylitta crescent (Phyciodes mylitta) mating pair on Oregon sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum) Photo: Linda Kappen

Mylitta crescent (Phyciodes mylitta) mating pair on Oregon sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum) Photo: Linda Kappen

Spring Garden Fair

Spring Garden FairKlamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds will make uncommon native plants — some rarely sold in nurseries — available to the public at the Master Gardener Spring Garden Fair, May 6th and 7th at the Jackson County Expo in Central Point, Oregon.

We have your interest covered with: Native larval host plants for butterflies, pollen-rich native wildflowers for bees, nectar producing plants for hummingbirds and evening and night blooming plants for our nighttime pollinating moths.

All of our plants are grown from wildcrafted local seed collected in the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion.

We will also have seed packets available for over 75 species of native plants at the fair. From low-elevation shooting stars and grasswidows, to high-elevation beargrass and horsemint, and everything in between, Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds helps you GROW NATIVE — GROW WILD!

Come see us at the fair! The spring gardens season is on!

We will have limited heartleaf milkweed (Asclepias cordifolia) plants and seeds for sale at the fair!