Seed Exchange Helpful LInks

Links to websites and articles pertaining to Seed Collecting & Cleaning, Identification, and Germination, that members may find useful.

The Rock Garden Quarterly has many articles on seeds. Check pages 309-310 of the Cumulative index: . 

In particular,  Volume 65, number 3, Summer 2007 has many excellent articles, including by Kristl Walek on seed collecting, cleaning and storing; Tony Reznicek on propagating difficult small seed; Norman Deno on seed storage; Jane McGary on bulbs from seed and Carlo Balistrieri on seed sowing.

Seed Collecting & Cleaning:

Article by Vic Aspland from the Alpine Garden Society (AGS) website from The Alpine Gardener, September 2009  Use the  link to “Seed Cleaning made Easy” pdf at the bottom of the webpage to read the complete article

Article by Jane McGary in the Rock Garden Quarterly vol. 59, no. 3 Summer 2001

Fine Gardening website has an article from issue #80 by William Cullina titled “Starting Wildflowers from Seed” that has some good information on collecting and sowing seed

Pacific Bulb Society Wiki has a section on Seed Cleaning Techniques that are applicable to a variety of seeds, not just bulb seeds . The wiki also has lots of photos to help with identification of bulb species.

Seed Identification:

Use Google Images search to find images of seed - or select Images option if using basic Google search. Type in plant name or just genus and "seed" (e.g. "Campanula seed")  to view search results. Even if there is no image of the specific species you want to view, it should give you a good idea of what the seed looks like.

The German website has some wonderfully detailed drawings of many seeds done by Miliza Tischler.

Alexandra Berkutenko's family permitted NARGS access to the pages of seed images from her posthumously published book "Atlas of the Plant Seeds of the North Asia":

El Herbario JACA - of Instituto Pirenaico de Ecologia (Spanish site*) arranged alphabetically

Acta Plantarum: Seeds and other primary dispersion units  photo gallery (Italian site*)  arranged by family

Lawrence Hill’s Fritillaria Icones website has images of Fritillaria seed in a pdf

Scottish Rock Garden Club (SRGC) Forum Topic page: Seed Identification: photos of named seed varieties

The Seed Site  lists seeds and seedpods by size/shape or family

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Swedish site*!home

Tanya Harvey’s website on Mountains Plants of the Western Cascades (Oregon) has scans of seeds

BotanyCa Seeds Shop at has a drop-down menu under  “ The Seeds Library” which shows several seed images, arranged by family  as well as a Germination Page

Seeds of South Australia website has photos of plants, seedpods, and seeds for South Australian native plant species

Arnold Arboretum’s Seed Herbarium  has images of seeds for several woody genera

Norwegian site has images of seeds next to a ruler for scale 

German seed company includes photos of seeds for many of their offerings

Seed Germination:

The Ontario Rock Garden & Hardy Plant Society website has a large germination database that covers many of the plants we grow

Starting Plants from Seed

Norman C. Deno’s  “Seed Germination Theory and Practice” Second edition is now available in PDF format from the USDA website  as well as the First Supplement  and Second Supplement

Tom Clothier has compiled a Taxonomic index spreadsheet based off of Deno’s work  that you can download  as well as general information on seed germination  and seed collecting/cleaning

The Royal Horticultural Society published a pdf guide for their membership "HARVESTED SEED GERMINATION REQUIREMENTS" that is available online

Kristl Walek's Garden's North website had some great articles in her Germination Corner section. You can view an archived version using Wayback Machine here:


*Try Google translate to translate pages that are not in English (or your native language) - just be aware it may also "translate" the botanical names.

Please contact us if you know of any other websites related to seeds that may be useful to our members.