Tallgrass Prairie Center


Purchasing Foundation Seed


This page is for native seed producers. If you are looking to purchase seed for a restoration project, please see the Tallgrass Prairie Center's Iowa Prairie Seed and Service Provider List.

a box filled with small bags of native seed, overlaid on a background of four species of native prairie seed

For established Iowa Ecotype Project / Natural Selections growers


Available Species List

*updated 12-30-2022

To place an order, fill in the amounts of the desired species on the Available Species List form (electronically or on paper) and return it to Laura Walter at laura.walter@uni.edu or at the mailing address shown on the form. If you have questions about available seed, feel free to email or call 319-273-3005.

For NEW Producers of Iowa Source-ID Seed

If you are a native seed grower interested in obtaining source-identified parent seed from the Tallgrass Prairie Center for the first time, please complete the New Producer Survey linked below to let us know more about your business and experience. This information may help us to provide you with guidance in the use of our foundation seed.

Please note that Iowa Ecotype (“Natural Selections”) stock seed is released to growers planning to pursue certification for Iowa source-identified (“yellow tag”) seed. Releases are restricted to production facilities within Iowa or border counties of neighboring states.

New Producer Survey

New ecotypes

Zone NI Common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) - 2022 - clouds of white flower heads (some tinged with purple) persist into fall; wet soil; pollinator resource for beetles, flies, wasps, butterflies, and bees; very small seed but productive in first year when transplanted as plugs

A flowering plot of common boneset and map of Iowa with locations of remnant seed collections, with inset photo of tiny black seeds

Zone NI Blue vervain (Verbena hastata) - 2022 - late summer bloomer in wet soil, great resource for wide diversity of bees; highly productive in first year when started as plugs

Flowering blue vervain with bumble bee and map of remnant seed accessions with inset photo of seeds

Zone NI Parasol whitetop (Doellingeria umbellata) - 2022 - late summer bloomer in wet soil, attractive seed heads from fall into winter, pollinator resource for diverse insects including specialist bees; first year plants produced some seed, but plants were smaller than mature, wild plants

flowering parasol whitetop with map of remnant prairie collection sites and inset of seeds


  • Zone 1 False indigo bush (Amorpha fruticosa) - leadplant's beefy cousin, early blooming, heavy seed producer, great pollinator plant/shrub for wet soils
  • Zone 1 Spotted Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum) - forms dense stand with few weed issues in irrigated production plots, great for bees and butterflies, very showy
  • Zone 2 & Zone 3 Spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata) - showy bracts, mid-season nectar for wasps and bees, reliable seed producer but plants are short-lived in mesic soil plots
  • Zone 1 & Zone 2 White meadowsweet (Spiraea alba) - late blooming pollinator plant, shrub with delicate stems, forms a dense production plot with few weed issues, very small seed


  • Zone 2 & Zone 3 False indigo bush (Amorpha fruticosa) - see above
  • Zone IOWA Great St. Johnswort (Hypericum ascyron) - robust plants form production plot with few weed issues, very showy yellow flowers in mid-summer, pollen source for bumblebees
  • Zone 1 Meadow blazing star (Liatris ligulistylis) - late fall bloomer, resembles rough blazing star but attracts even more monarchs, does well in moist soil, may need deer protection
  • Zone 1 Heartleaf Alexanders (Zizia aptera) - flat yellow flower clusters in late spring to early summer, similar to golden Alexanders but different leaf shape, shorter stature, seed production varies year-to-year
  • Zone 1 Willowleaf aster (Symphyotrichum praealtum) - late season pollinator plant for wet soils, forms dense almost weed-free plot under irrigation, needs protection from rabbits and deer - small amounts available


Information on Source-ID Certification ("Yellow Tag")

Source ID native seed certification is a program of the Iowa Crop Improvement Association. Important information on participating in the program is found in the following places on their website (direct links are included, where possible, for your convenience):

  • Certification Handbooks 
    • Field Requirement Handbook, pages 33-35, lists requirements for eligible seed stock, field inspections, and field standards for established and natural production areas.
    • Approved Conditioners Handbook, page 5, lists conditioning equipment required for cleaning native seed.
    • Native Species Supplement lists steps to complete "yellow tag" certification, including seed lot sampling and testing requirements and examples of seed label formatting.
  • Deadlines and Fees - Annual certification deadlines (for new fields as well as annual recertification of existing fields) are listed; click link to see the up-to-date fee schedule.
  • The Native Species Directory of current Source ID seed producers

  • Contact information - To participate in the Source ID native species program, contact Graydon Marzen at ICIA.



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