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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Jones, Thomas
item Young, Stanford

Submitted to: Native Plant Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2005
Publication Date: 11/1/2005
Citation: Jones, T.A., Young, S.A. 2005. Native seeds in commerce: more frequently asked questions. Native Plant Journal.

Interpretive Summary: Many users of native plants are unfamiliar with seed marketing and certification. This paper provides a background to facilitate an understanding of marketing of native seeds. An educated consumer can procure plant materials more intelligently with this knowledge. This will contribute to the growth and maturation of the native seed industry.

Technical Abstract: To make intelligent choices in the marketplace, customers should have a working understanding of 1) the diversity of products that are available in the seed trade, 2) how they move in the market, 3) how they are regulated for purity and germination, 4) how they are certified to assure genetic identity, and 5) how they are legally protected as intellectual property. Options for seed certification have greatly increased over the last several years. Two complementary certification mechanisms are currently being used to deliver native plant materials, one facilitating the traditional cultivars and the other directed towards the novel pre-variety germplasms. Both accommodate "natural" and "genetically manipulated" plant materials.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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