Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds offers a wide selection of native plant seeds. You can purchase individual seed packets through our online shopping cart, or email us to inquire about larger quantities of seed available or seed collection contracting services. Please note that the quantity of seed in our individual seed packets varies depending on the species. For species with small seeds there may be a couple hundred seeds per packet, and species with really large seeds there may be 15 to 30 seeds per packet. We are a small company and we do not have a seed counting machine. Due to the large variety of species we carry, we cannot provide exact seed counts per packet, but we make sure to include a generous amount, which our longtime customers can attest to. Email us with any questions at email@example.com. Thanks! SEE LESSSEE MORE
Ahhh….spring! After a long, very wet winter in the Klamath-Siskiyou, sunshine and warmer weather have finally arrived. Spring weather has brought with it a bounty of beautiful spring wildflowers, bejeweled with overwintering queen bumble bees and butterflies, hungry and eager for the food these wildflowers offer. Another exciting thing that spring brings with it is seed germination! Yay!!!
There are little germinates all over the place where I seeded in the fall and winter — in the garden; in the nursery; in the forest; on rocky slopes; in oak woodland; in pots in the greenhouse; in pots outside — and where it thrills me most: in the gardens, greenhouses, and on the land of my clients and customers! The wet winter has benefitted habitat restoration projects by triggering a high degree of seed germination this year. Successful projects make those of us who work hard to collect, clean and process native plant seeds happy!
Many people wonder how native plants are propagated from seed. Despite the fact that many native seeds need pretreatment, propagation can still be relatively simple. In order to help you visualize native seed germination and propagation, we offer this slideshow. Sit back and enjoy the slideshow!
Have you seen your first spring wildflowers yet? I have, and I couldn’t be happier! Douglas’ grasswidows start blooming as early as late February through early March in the Klamath-Siskiyou.
One of the earliest wildflowers to bloom in the spring, Douglas’ grasswidow (Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii), also referred to as purple-eyed grass, is a harbinger of warmer, sunnier days ahead. This cheerful grass-like plant will brighten your day as it announces the arrival of the coming wildflower-filled spring.
Early season pollinators appreciate the early blooms of grasswidows and it is not uncommon to see native bees foraging on the flowers.
Douglas’ grasswidow is in the Iridaceae (Iris) family, in the genus Olsynium, with other species in the same genus being mainly from South America. Many folks may have gotten to know this lovely species when it was classified under the closely related genus, Sisyrinchium — hence one of its common names: purple-eyed grass.
The origin of the common name, grasswidow, has not been confirmed despite many theories.
These early blooming flowers inhabit rocky, vernally-wet places that turn very dry in the summer. You will see it growing on dry, rocky bluffs, in meadows, and in open oak woodlands from low to mid elevations.
Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds is a proud 2017 sponsor of the Siskiyou Field Institute!
The Siskiyou Field Institute (SFI) is the place to go to learn about the native flora and fauna in the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion. There are so many great field courses to choose from — from kids courses, introductory courses, to professional level courses, there is something for everyone! SFI is an extraordinary resource! The course catalog for SFI’s 2017 field season is now available.
Published on Jan 30, 2015
Specialized relationships between animals and plants are the norm in nature rather than the exception. Plants that evolved in concert with local animals provide for their needs better than plants that evolved elsewhere. Dr. Tallamy will explain why this is so, why specialized food relationships determine the stability and complexity of the local food webs that support animal diversity, why it is important to restore biodiversity to our residential properties, and what we need to do to make our landscapes living ecosystems once again.
Dr. Tallamy is the author of Bringing Nature Home which won the Silver Medal from the Garden Writer’s Association in 2008 and the recently published book he wrote with landscape designer Rick Darke The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden. He is an Honorary National Director of Wild Ones and is regarded as one of the leading voices for designing healthy ecosystems in our public and private spaces by using native plants.
It’s been quite the winter in the Klamath-Siskiyou this year. I write this with two and a half feet of snow outside and a one and a half mile snowshoe to the nearest plowed road — an unusually big snow year at 2,100′ in elevation!
As winter settles in and you start daydreaming about springtime and wildflowers, take some time to reflect on wildflower seed mixes as well — more specifically, what species are actually in those wildflower seed mixes?
If you support the conservation of native flora, intact ecosystems, biodiverse landscapes, traditional ecological knowledge, or if you belong to a native plant society, or other environmental organization that works for land conservation or pollinator advocacy, for example, you may be just as dismayed as I am to learn that many commercially available packets of “wildflower” seed mixes don’t actually contain native wildflower seed at all, and may, in fact, contain noxious weed seeds.
Native wildflowers of the Klamath-Siskiyou
In most commercial wildflower seed packets the term “wildflower” is often used to refer to species that naturalize easy, or in other words, species that can can take over quickly and flower profusely, spreading themselves around in abundance. Unfortunately, this describes many non-native species that take over native plant habitat, displacing native flora and impacting floral diversity as well as pollinators adapted to native plants.
Your winter daydreams of vibrant wildflower meadows flowering in profusion may turn into a noxious weed nightmare if you don’t do your due diligence in researching what species are in a wildflower seed mix.
In an unpublished study from 2002, a University of Washington undergraduate student researcher grew out the seeds from 19 “wildflower” seed mix packets. The result: All 19 packets contained from 3 to 13 species that were identified as being invasive in some part of North America. And even worse, eight of the plants were identified as noxious weeds.
Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) was found in four of the wildflower mixes, but only one had it listed. Toadflax is listed on Oregon’s state noxious weed list. Hine also explained, “Gardeners might be surprised at the flowers and seeds that are readily available for sale that are considered invasive or noxious. For instance, the wildflower most commonly observed as part of the mixes was the popular bachelor’s button (Centaurea cyanus), germinating in beautiful hues of pink and blue from three-quarters of the packets tested. Bachelor’s button might be fine if kept confined to one’s own yard but it’s invasive — that is it outcompetes other plants — when it gets into native grasslands and prairies.”
This problem is not limited to large corporate seed companies; unfortunately, even smaller seed companies that espouse organic and non-GMO ethics include non-native or invasive plant seeds in their “wildflower” seed mixes. Take a look, there’s not many native species included in these lists:
Territorial Seed Company’s “Northwest Wildflower Mix”: Five-Spot, Siberian wallflower, Scarlet flax, California poppy, Lance leaved coreopsis, Yellow lupine, Blue flax, Russell lupine, Chinese houses, Baby blue-eyes, Corn poppy, Shasta daisy, Bird’s eyes, Dwarf godetia, Clarkia, Globe gilia, Mountain phlox, Tall white sweet alyssum, Black-eyed susan
When you buy seeds from Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds you can be rest assured that 100% of the species in our inventory are native to the Klamath-Siskiyou mountains, valleys, grasslands, woodlands, rock outcrops, or forests. Our seeds are wildcrafted from genetically diverse stock that is regionally adapted and beneficial for the local wildlife and pollinators that have evolved and adapted with them. Healthy, intact ecosystems depend on thriving native plant communities!
“We’re entering the Earth’s sixth era of extinction — and it’s the first time humans are to blame. CNN introduces you to the key species and people who are trying to prevent them from vanishing.” — CNN.com
The search for Franklin’s bumblebee (Bombus franklinii) if finally getting the national attention it deserves through CNN’s “Vanishing: The Earth’s 6th mass extinction” video series. In one video from the series, CNN reporter John D. Sutter follows preeminent bee researcher, Dr. Robbin Thorp, as he searches for Franklin’s bumble bee on Mt. Ashland in the Siskiyou Mountains of southern Oregon.
The renowned floral diversity of the Siskiyou Mountains gives rise to an amazing diversity of native bee species; in fact, northwest California and southwest Oregon has the highest diversity of bumble bee species of anywhere in the world. Preserving the botanical diversity of the region is paramount for the protection of wild bees and pollinators.
“Anthony Barnosky, an expert on this from Stanford University, told me humans have about 20 years max to shape up before this mass extinction becomes inevitable. And by mass extinction he means three-quarters of all known species would be lost.
Franklin’s bumblebee should be a wake-up call — a window into a dystopian future.
It certainly was for me.” — John D. Sutter for CNN.com
Soaproot, also known as amole or amole lily, has a range that extends from southwest Oregon down to San Diego, California. It grows in diverse habitat types throughout its range: valley grassland, chaparral, mixed evergreen forest, foothill woodland, closed-cone pine forest, northern coastal scrub, and coastal sage scrub. In the Klamath-Siskiyou it is most often found in foothill woodland, mixed conifer forest, and white oak or madrone woodland in the valley bottom.
Calflora classifies the genus Chlorogalum in the Agavaceae family, while the Oregon Flora Project classifies it in Asparagaceae. The Calflora classification of Chlorogalum in Agavaceae is surprising, as the only other plants in the Agavaceae family in the Klamath-Siskiyou include Camas (Camassia) and Rushlily (Hastingsia), and these are related to Agave and Yucca, including the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia). Who would’ve thought that soaproot is related to the Joshua tree? Amazing!
Depending on the location, soaproot will bloom between May and July. The flowers are borne on a very tall (up to 2′ tall) flowering stem. When you encounter a large stand of soaproot in flower it is a lovely sight, and when you do it will be in the evening or early morning, as the white soaproot flowers open in the evening, stay open overnight, and close up in the morning. Because of its flowering time, it is generally our lesser known, night flying pollinators that pollinate soaproot; however, if you watch soaproot flowers in the warmth of the early evening you may still find bumble bees and other day flying native bees and pollinators searching for pollen and nectar before nighttime comes on.
Soaproot flower popping open in the early evening.
Soaproot grows from a large, elongated bulb covered in thick coarse fibers. The juices of the bulb contain natural saponins that can be used as a soap — hence the name. Native American tribes within its range used soaproot for soap, but they also used the fibers of the bulb for brushes. The Miwok people reportedly roasted and ate the bulb as a winter food, cooking out the inedible saponins. Other tribes may have eaten soaproot too, as well as used it for various medicinal uses.
I can personally attest to the soapy qualities of soaproot — it does indeed make a fine soap!
After flowering and setting seed, soaproot goes dormant for the remainder of the summer and fall, pushing up new leaves in early winter.
Soaproot grows easily from seed, however, to reach the flowering stage it may take 3-5 years. The first few years the long, strap-like leaves will grow from the large, fibrous bulb, feeding the bulb for future flowers.
Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds has seed of soaproot in stock now! Just shoot us an email if you want to give this useful and unusual native bulb a try in your garden or native plant project.
Native bee pollinating soaproot flowers in the early evening.