Kootenay Lake Wildflower Seed Library


Help us create and enhance meadows in the Kootenay Lake region by becoming a Native Seed Citizen Scientist.  Learn to identify, collect, clean, and store a variety of native wildflower seeds over the summer.

By becoming a citizen scientist you become part of a community consisting of plant experts, novices, and enthusiasts, learning together, to strengthen our collective understanding of our environment through a scientific lens, to deepen our relationships with ecological processes and beings, and to create peer-to-peer influence for environmental action.

The Wildflower Seed Library Collection Manual was first developed by Kristina Boyd with the Idaho Panhandle Bees to Bears Climate Adaption Project.  We adapted this detailed and informative manual for the Kootenay Lake region (available for download below).

Climate-resilient systems require lots of plants to feed lots of insects to feed lots of birds, fish, and mammals, and…  Save plants, save ourselves!  No one else is going to do it.  When we combine native plant seed collection with fall outplanting we can increase natural habitats and support for all beings.


Collection Ethics

  • Identify your plants positively (if you are unsure, please ask!).
  • Avoid weeds.
  • Maintain in situ populations (do not collect more than 10% and only collect from healthy populations on land in which you have permission to gather).

Basic Supplies

  • Paper bags or envelopes to allow seeds to dry completely.
  • Gloves to protect hands (some plants have irritating hairs or sharp bits).
  • Clippers or shears.
  • Strainers or screens.

Remember, every plant is different

  • Seeds may ripen all at once or over a long period of time.
  • Some plants fling their seeds away and some plants hold into their seeds a long time.
  • Some seeds need to be stored dry and others need to be stored wet.
  • Start small and get to know one species at a time – go out and identify, observe, learn!


Harvesting Silky Lupine Seeds


Silky lupine seeds need to be harvested as they ripen – it’s happening now!  Here is a little video to show you what to look for on your silky lupine plants.


Host a collection day in your community

Invite us to come along and teach you what to look for as you harvest seeds for your wildflower meadow!


Collecting seed of arrow-leaved balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata).

Create a home nursery from collected seeds.