Native plant info, including propagation


Some things I’ve collected that may be of use.

The Best Explanation of Seed Germination

Dr. Norman Deno wrote some privately published books on propagation. I think they are among the best ever produced. They are available on the USDA website and several other sites, i.e. they are effectively in the public domain and will not be reproduced in paper form. I have copied the PDF files here.

All the files talk about why seeds have dormancy periods, though Deno objects to the term dormancy. To quote Deno:

“Every species has some mechanism for delaying germination

until after the seed has been dispersed.

The Science of Seed Germination is the discovery and description of such

mechanisms and the development of procedures for removing them

so that the seeds can germinate.



I recommend that anyone interested in seed propagation read the first half of the first book, which describes many different delay mechanisms and his method of research. After that, the 3 files contain data on thousands of species (the first contains 2500 species). Unfortunately, there is not one file that contains all the species he and his associates tested, so  you have to look thru them.  There is an index in the 3rd book that tells you where you will find each species.

First book, published in 1993

Second book, published in 1996

Third book, published in 1998

Index to the 3 books (csv file) This index was produced by Tom Clothier, see below.

Gibberelic Acid

Gibberelic Acid is found naturally in some soils and is required by some species to germinate. Here’s a good source of Gibberelic Acid, J L Hudson, Seedsman (not to mention some interesting seeds).

A Most Excellent List of Plants and Their Uses

The full title explains it: List of Southern Vancouver Island, Western Washington and Western Oregon, Native Seasonal Food Plants, Used by Insectivorous Native Birds and Other Wildlife. Complied by Jean Stam, 1991.  This wonderful work was never published but seems to be in the public domain (it says “for copying” on the front sheet.  I thank John Dixon, steward at Twin Ponds, Shoreline, for lending me his well used copy.  There is info some info on propagation and lots of info on what wildlife uses what plants.

Washington Native Plant Society

A great source of info on plants, propagation and activities that support native plants in the State of Washington. Among other things they maintain a photo gallery of native plants and here’s a page with info that will help you landscape or garden with native plants.

Green Seattle Partnership

A great resource website and a place to find out where you can volunteer to help restore Seattle forests.


by Shelley Hudson and Michael Carlson. Published by the Ministry of Forests, of British Columbia

Society for Ecological Restoration International

An organization supporting restoration, lots of info on invasives. This the link to the NW chapter where there is lots of info pertinent to the PNW.  E.g. here is their page on Reed Canary Grass Control, which has some great articles.

Tom Clothier’s Amazing Collection of Info

Germination data, index of Deno’s works, lots of garden tips. There’s so much here I don’t really know what to say.  Just check it out.

Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health

A site with tons of info on invasive species from all over the world.  great resource. great team of people.

Funghi are predatory -- in order to supplement the nitrogen supply, wood attacking funghi eat nematodes and other animals.

Edible Wild Plants -- a list of native and other plants and how to eat them.

Native plant lists -- These were put together by George Macomber, a long time WNPS member. Links to databases and descriptions of the plants. Synonyms. over 500 species.

Seattle’s original flora, a 2006 article about the varied ecotypes of 1851 seattle. A little about oaks, with much about bogs, madrones, prairies and other ecotypes. a good read.

Pollinator information.  In 2013 there was a discussion on the WNPS listserve about pollinators and native plants. Several people, including George Macomber, Julie Kane, David Giblin, and John and Chris Neorr contributed to THIS SPREADSHEET which contains a list of Washington native plants, links to info about the plants and, where available, information on which insects use them. Much of the information was derived from Moldenke lists. xlsx format. The list is by no means complete, but it’s a great start.