ƒ Flowering plants
ƒ Most diverse group of land plants
ƒ Together with gymnosperms are the seed- producing
ƒ Began separating from gymnosperms 200 million y/a,
first flowering 140 million y/a, widespread 100
million y/a, dominant trees 60 million y/a
ƒ Distinguished from gymnosperms by flowers,
endosperm within seed, production of fruit
Find examples of perfect and unisexual flowers.
Find examples of crops without readily visible
Are there any non-angiosperms in the garden?
12. Scientific names
var. variety ‘Cultivar’
Variety - often occur in nature and most varieties are true to type
Cultivar – (CULTIvated VARiety) selected and cultivated by
humans, not necessarily true to type
13. Family Apiaceae Daucus carota var. sativus ‘Scarlet Nantes’
Family Solanaceae Solanum lycopersicum ‘Cherokee Purple’
Family Solanaceae Capsicum annum ‘Charleston Belle’
Family Cucurbitaceae Cucumis sativus ‘Parisian Pickling’
Family Cucurbitaceae Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis ‘Hearts
Family Brassicaceae Brassica oleracea cultivar group Capitata
Family Brassicaceae Brassica oleracea cultivar group Italica
14. Pea Family
(Fabaceae or Leguminosae)
Phaseolus vulgaris – common bean
P. coccineus – runner bean
Pisum sativum – pea
– Dry bean pods on plant
– Split from pod Photo: Stephen Loewinsohn (stephenloewinsohn.com)
20. Allium Family
Allium ampeloprasum - leeks
A. cepa – onions
A. Sativum - garlic
– Usually plant bulbs
– Seeds form on flower in 2nd year of growth
Find examples of as many crop families as
Find examples of crops that look different but
are of the same genus or same species.
ƒ A variety/cultivar developed and commonly
grown earlier in history
– how long?
– may or may not have a story
– not used in industrial agriculture?
ƒ Open-Pollinated - The pollination of outbreeding
plants by insects, birds, wind, or other natural
– self pollination of inbreeders
– controlled pollination to maintain a variety
ƒ F1 hybrid - the offspring of a cross between two parent plants
of different varieties
– 'first filial' generation
– creates new desired traits, most notably hybrid vigor
– done under controlled conditions, often by hand, which makes F1
hybrid seed more expensive to produce
– cross the F1 generation with itself you get an F2
– accused of being a form of biotechnology to control seed savers
ƒ Hybrid vigor (heterosis) - If you cross two different varieties of an
outbreeding plant, the offspring may well turn out bigger,
faster-growing, or more productive than either of the parents.
Hybrid vigor may not be passed on to the F2 generation.
ƒ F2s can be saved - you are staring a breeding trial
27. Isolation by Distance
ƒ Isolation Distances – The minimum planting
separation required between two or more
varieties of the same species for the purpose of
keeping seed pure.
ƒ Consult tables
ƒ Isolation distances often for open farmland,
high humidity – may be modified for arid
West and heterogeneous urban locales
28. Advanced Isolation
– Blossom taping
– Alternate day caging
– Caging with pollinators
ƒ Hand pollination
29. Population Size
ƒ Never < 6 individuals
– Inbreeders – 20 individuals
– Outbreeders – 100 individuals
ƒ Inbreeding depression - If an outbreeding plant
self-pollinates, the offspring can turn out
weaker and slower-growing than either
parent, and it gets worse with each
ƒ Store seed at maximum dry weight ≈ 8% seed
moisture. Check for breaking or shattering.
ƒ General rule: sum of temperature and relative
humidity < 100
ƒ Paper envelopes are great to hold and sort seeds
ƒ Containers must be air tight – glass jars, paint cans,
plastic containers w. gaskets. Some people add silica
ƒ Store in a cool, dry, dark location, such as a closet
ƒ Newbie mistake: seed that molds was not sufficiently
dry before storage.
ƒ Consult tables for storage times for viable seed.
Germination rates must remain above 70%.
41. Advanced Storage
ƒ Long term frozen storage at low moisture.
– At home
– Germplasm collections
– Seed vaults
ƒ Overwintering biennials
42. Record Keeping
Metadata is important!! Make sure you label all the containers or packages
with at least the seed variety/cultivar, date collected, and source
43. Bay Area Seed Interchange
BASIL is a free, community-based, urban seed project committed to
disseminating and celebrating local varieties of seed stock and raising
awareness about the importance and relationship between biological and
Located in the Ecology Center
2530 San Pablo Ave (near Dwight)
Berkeley, CA 94702
Tuesday - Saturday, 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
44. Seed Sources We Like
Richmond Public Library
325 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, CA 94804
Pocket Seed Library
Hosts picnics and seed swaps
Seed Bank in Petaluma
45. Further Reading
McCormack, Jeffrey. (2004). Isolation Distances. Saving Our Seeds.
McCormack, Jeffrey. (2004). Seed Processing and Storage. Saving Our Seeds.
McDorman, Bill. (1994). Basic Seed Saving. International Seed Saving Institute
Native Seeds|SEARCH. Seed Saving How To.
If you read one book on seed saving:
Ashworth, Suzanne. (2002). Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing
Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners. Seed Savers Exchange. Decorah, Iowa.