Tallgrass Prairie Center

Plant Materials Program

The Plant Materials program strives to promote high quality, genetically diverse/regionally adapted, and affordable seed for prairie and wetland restoration, and to enhance appreciation for the tallgrass prairie ecosystem through education and outreach.  

Natural Selections: Promoting and increasing Source Identified seed for prairie and wetland restorations in the midwest.

natural selections logoA collaboration of state, federal, private, and commercial entities collect, increase, certify, and market seed derived from remnant populations of native prairie species. Seed is increased, produced, and marketed as Source Identified seed, preserving the identity of seed source through Iowa Crop Improvement Associations’ AOSCA-approved certification program. Commercial quantities are produced and marketed under the trade name “Natural SelectionsTM” by cooperating growers.

  • Increase regionally-adapted foundation seed of native genotypes
  • Promote commercial availability and affordability of Source Identified native seed
  • Accession seed derived from remnant populations for seed increase and research
  • Over 85 species accessioned and increased including grasses, legumes, other  forb species, sedges and "prairie woodies"  
  • Over 200,000 lbs of Natural Selections native seed has been produced by commercial growers
  • We provide technical support and publications for practitioners (see for example: Plant Materials Development booklet)
  • We facilitate communication among native seed buyers, growers, testing labs, contractors and conduct analyses for policymakers

For more information on the education/outreach aspects of this program see Prairie Roots.