Seeds & Bulbs

Preserving genetic diversity


Photo credit: Silke Gathmann

In nature, most plants reproduce through seeds after pollination, whether by bees, other insects, or the wind. Each seed is genetically unique, carrying the blueprints for a plant with slightly different traits compared to all others in the population. This genetic diversity is crucial for survival under challenging environmental conditions such as drought, heat, flooding, cold, or pollution.

Growing native plants from seeds is a great way to cultivate a resilient population of plants that are best adapted to your local garden’s conditions. Additionally, it is budget-friendly, making sustainable gardening accessible to everyone. Furthermore, it offers the opportunity to cultivate rare plants not available in any nursery, giving your garden a unique touch with a diverse array of plants and animals.

Ready to join the adventure? Let’s sow and grow diversity together!

Mastering Seeds - Collecting and Storing

Photo credit: Silke Gathmann

Collecting Seeds

Legal, ethical, and efficient

Photo credit: Silke Gathmann

Storing Seeds

Clean, dry, and labeled

Meet our CNPS San Diego Native Seeds & Bulbs Team

The CNPSSD Seeds and Bulbs Team gathers and sells California native plant seeds and bulbs for homes and schools. We provide seeds from native annuals, perennials, and mature bulbs, including those from rare plants at risk of disappearing.

Our seeds come from trusted farms, home growers, and responsibly collected colonies with landowner permissions. Despite challenges in collecting due to our small gardens, our dedicated volunteers work hard to gather and clean seeds, offering you the opportunity to grow native plants and attract wildlife. We prioritize wild-pollinated seeds to preserve genetic diversity, ensuring unique plants in your garden.

With about 10 daily workers and 60 volunteers, we organize seed collecting, cleaning and packaging events, and remote tasks. Sign up for updates on events and projects if you’d like to join us!

Join our Seeds & Bulbs Team!
Photo credit: Silke Gathmann

Seeds & Bulbs Shop

Shop native seeds and bulbs for your home and garden at the CNPS San Diego Seed & Bulb store. Your purchase directly supports the impactful work of our chapter!

Go to the shop

I learned so much about collecting, identifying, and storing native plant seeds by volunteering with the Seeds & Bulbs team!



Becky Escalante

Explore CNPS State Resources

California Native Seed Strategy

Supporting restoration with the right seed in the right place at the right time.

The Life Cycle of Seeds: Spring

Part one of a three-part series about the physiology and life cycle of seeds

Summer Seeds

Part two of a three-part series about the physiology and life cycle of seeds.

Fall’s Bounty of Seeds and Fruits

Part three of a three-part series about the physiology and life cycle of seeds.