Native Seed Production Manual

Seed Production Plots


About the Manual

The intent of this manual, once completed, is to provide basic information for native seed production of nearly 100 species of the tallgrass prairie flora of the upper Midwest. The information presented is compiled from published accounts coupled with native seed production experience at the Tallgrass Prairie Center at the University of Northern Iowa. Critical to this effort were publications from the USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program, published research articles and technical notes, personal communication with other native seed growers, and Internet resources. Botanical nomenclature follows Flora of North America, wherever possible. Common names follow USDA Plants Database.

The first edition of this manual was written in 2007 with support from USDA NRCS, the Tallgrass Prairie Center, University of Northern Iowa, and the Iowa Crop Improvement Association. A pdf of the original manual can be downloaded here.

The updated and expanded second edition is being produced as an eBook and made available for free on the Tallgrass Prairie Center website. For those who prefer a print copy, printable versions (pdf) of each general information chapter, species production guide, and appendix table will be provided. You are welcome to download and print the pdf versions to create a printed manual that includes the material of greatest importance to you. 

This manual is a work in progress, and new information will be added as it is completed.


Funded by:

Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund


University of Northern Iowa 

UNI logo

Written and Edited by: 

First edition (2007)  

Greg A. Houseal, Program Manager, Iowa Ecotype Project

Second edition (2024)  

Revised and expanded by Laura Fischer Walter, Plant Materials Program Manager

in collaboration with Green Iowa AmeriCorps members Bri Hull, Mallory Sage and Andrea Fager

and UNI students Laura Spies, Josie Hutchings and Alex Hanson