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Here you will find information about the Native Seed Network website, its purpose and and how to use it.


GENERAL Questions


Q: What is the purpose of the Native Seed Network website?
A: The primary purpose of this site is to link buyers and sellers of native seed. Our site:
Q: What happened to seed tracking? The previous version of the website had a place to track native seed collections, and I was going to use it.
A: We are revamping the seed tracking feature and have removed it from the location. We are maintaining this database elsewhere for users who need it. Contact NSN for the link to the seed tracking website.


Q: Can I receive notices of native seed meetings hosted by the Native Seed Network or the Institute for Applied Ecology?
A: Yes. We can place you on a list serve that sends out meeting information. Contact NSN.




Q: Do I have to register and login to search seed listings and locate seed vendors?
A: No. Users can search seed listings and find vendors without registering or logging-in.


Q: When do I have to login?
A: You need to login to:


    You do NOT have to login to:

Q: Why do I have to be logged-in to view a vendor's email?
A: To protect vendors from web spiders and spam.


Q: I forgot my password. How do I login?
A: You can request a new password by going to the login page and entering your email address under “Lost Password?” A new computer generated password will be emailed to you.


Q: Once I have registered, can I change personal information (password, address, phone number etc.)?
A: YES. Login and select My Account from the menu and then Edit My Profile or Change Password.


Q: The system isn't accepting my password or email, what do I do?
Try resetting your password by going to the login page and entering your email address under “Lost Password?”   After you have logged in you can change your password by selecting My Account from the menu and Change Password.


SEARCH Questions


Q: Why is it that sometimes when I search for seed for sale or try to make a seed listing I get a long list of different species?
A: A couple of things could be happening. First, your search criteria may be very general. For example, searching for all species available in a given ecoregion or searching for all forbs for sale in the state of Washington will produce a long list. Also, if you search on only on part of the scientific name under ALL, you will get returns of several different species that have those letters in their names. Another possibility is that the species name you used has been changed. In this case you will also see a list of synonyms.


Q: What is a synonym and why do we include them on the website?
A: A synonym is the previous latin or scientific name for a plant. As botanists study the morphology and genetics of plant species they realize that the naming does not reflect the appropriate taxonomic relationship (so they change latin name). A synonym is the previous name for the plant. NSN recommends that you use the current or authoritive name rather than the synonym when listing seeds for sale.

Synonyms are retained and presented here on the website because names change frequently, and our web users need to be able to find a plant using the old name. Also, occasionally synonyms are the preferred name by regional experts. Synonyms also help botanists track naming history and plant discovery.


Q: Why didn't I get what I searched for? I searched for Poa ampla and got seed listings for Poa secunda.
Poa ampla is a synonym (old name) for Poa secunda. Most vendors will list their seed using the current nomenclature.


Q: Your website doesn't show the wildflowers I would like to sell/buy, why?
Check your spelling and try again. You may be looking for a species that is not native to the US. Our database does not include exotic “wildflower” species.  Check the NRCS Plants Database to see if your species is native to the US.


Q: How can I quickly find what I am looking for on a page with lots of information?
Use Control-F (find), or if there is a table you can sort by clicking on the column header. You can also narrow your search in the Search for Seed form by customizing your search criteria.


VENDOR Questions

Q: I am a returning vendor. Should I update my vendor profile?
A: Yes! NSN has expanded the information we collect from vendors to help buyers find vendors that meet their needs. It is a quick and easy form with about 6 questions regarding the services you provide. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for prospective buyers to find you. To update your profile, login and select My Account from the menu and then Edit My Profile.  You will see a checkbox section entitled Vendor Information, with multiple options available for products you sell. Check the applicable entries.


Q: What is the advantage of completing the Vendor Information section under registration.
It is free advertising. You can list all of your products and services and even provide a link to your website. And it is more likely that buyers searching for vendors carrying specific products will find your company if you have completed this form.


Q: Does NSN charge a commission fee?
No. The website is free to all users.


Q: Can I list seed that is less than a pound?
Yes. In response to popular demand, NSN has enabled the listing of smaller increments of seed. Vendors will need to indicate what units they are using for a particular seed listing.


Q: Can I list seed in advance of availability?
Yes. When filling out your seed listing form, indicate the date your seed will be available. Buyers will see that you will have that seed available at a future time.


Q: Can I sell seed using the old name (synonym)?
Yes, but we recommend using the current name.


Q: I am interested in growing and selling native seeds.  How do I find out what buyers want?
Regional experts have helped NSN create species recommendations for just this purpose. Selecting your project area from the ecoregion map will take you to ecoregion description and a list plant communities and species recommendations. Our species recommendations are short lists of species recommended for commercial production and restoration. It is a work in progress, so we may not have recommendations for your area. We also plan to post a “buyer's wish list” in the future.


Q: How do I list seed for sale?
If you haven't already, first register, then log in. Look for “Sell Seed” in the left menu bar. Enter the name of the plant and using the dropdown choices on the right, indicate whether you are using the scientific name, common name, release name, or NRCS symbol. Click on the button with the seed logo in the Sell column to sell that type of seed. Fill out the form with your seed details. Save your changes.


Q: I have huge inventory of native seed. It would be very time consuming to create a seed listing for each of the species I have for sale. Can I just send you my inventory?
Yes, now you can. But it is important to use appropriate formatting and data. We have provided instructions and a template to assist you in this process. Import Inventory is found in the menu under My Account.


BUYER Questions


Q: Is there a way for a buyer to see all the seed listed by a vendor?
A: Yes. If you are looking at seed search results, simply click on the company name. If you just want a to find a vendor and their seed listings, go to our Vendor Search. You can select 'view all vendors' and sort by name, or you can search for vendors based on product and service types they provide.


Q: How can I get a list of vendors in my state?
Go to our Vendor Search. Select a state under vendor location. You can add other criterea to your search by selecting all that apply.

Q: Why is 'ask' often used in place of quantity and price information?
Not all vendors include prices or quantities available.  If you see "ask" you will need to contact vendor directly for this information.  If having this information available on the NSN website would be very helpful to you, suggest this to your vendors.


Q: I can't find the seed I want to buy. How can I tell sellers that this seed is in demand?
Contact NSN (phone: 541-753-3099), and we will post your wish list on the website.


Q: Can I find seed anywhere in the US?
Yes. However, the majority of the seed listings on the NSN website are from vendors in the west, but we are working to include more vendors from the eastern US.


Q: Is this website intended for the average gardener?
Not necessarily, but the website is open to all native plant enthusiasts and many vendors do sell seeds by the ounce. Be aware the many NSN vendors are strictly wholesale. Go to our Vendor Search to find the vendor that suits your needs.


Q: How do I know whether or not seed has been certified and tested for purity, germination, and noxious weeds?
From the seed listings look for a colored tag in the 'certified' column. Different colors indicate different types of releases. Vendors may also indicate seed testing results under 'comments'.




Q: Do you have any information about what native species should be planted for a particular habitat or plant community?
Yes. Selecting your project area from the ecoregion map will take you to an ecoregion description and a species list. For several ecoregions we also have a list of plant communities and species recommendations. If you know the community types at your project site, use community recommendations as the species will be more appropriate and more specifically geared to your site. This is a work in progress, so we may not have data for your ecoregion yet. Please check back later for updates and give us feedback.


Q: Where does NSN get species lists and recommendations and what is the difference between the two?
Species lists are simply lists of species you would expect to find in a particular ecoregion or community. Species recommendations are shorter lists of species targeted for restoration and commercial production. We developed species recommendations because it is technically very difficult to determine which native species to plant and where to plant. Land managers often need help selecting plants for restoration, and producers need help anticipating demand. Our species recommendations have been selected by regional experts for attributes such as community dominance, fast growth, wildlife forage, and ease of cultivation. All lists are a work in progress. We invite and encourage you to be a part of this process. Please contact us with your suggestions of species to include or omit.

Species lists have been obtained from a variety of sources including the USDA Plants Database, herbarium records, and floras. Species recommendations have been obtained from native seed workshops, agency botanists, qualified native plant society members, and other regional experts.


Q: What is a good resource for how to collect, store, and germinate seed?
To learn more about the cultivation of native species consult the Native Plant Network .


Q: What is the NRCS symbol?
NRCS is an acronym for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. They have standarized symbols to represent plant names. Standaridized symbols work well for computer searches and can be used for botanical shorthand. You may notice that the first two letters are the same as the first two letters of the genus, and the second two letters match the first two letters of the specific epithet. Some species share the same 4 letters, so in these cases, numbers are assigned. Check the NRCS code by mousing over the scientific name in our species tables or visit the NRCS website.

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