Tallgrass Prairie Center


Purchasing Foundation Seed

This page under construction. Contact Laura.Walter@uni.edu for more details.

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

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.

New ecotypes:


  • 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")

New grower application form (in development)

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 Doan Schmitz, Interim Program Coordinator.



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