Photo above shows Penstemon uintahensis in all its alpine glory at 11,500 feet on Leidy Peak in the Uintah Mountains, taken in August, 2008.


Dear Growing Friends:

Welcome to our 33rd annual seed catalog!  With COVID-19 restrictions lifting considerably in the past year, traveling became a bit easier and less anxious. In addition, with my father’s passing and his estate settled, I had more time to spend on matters botanical. Unfortunately, the winter of 2021-2022 and the spring of 2022 were quite dry across most of the U.S., leading to record low levels of many rivers and bodies of water such as Lake Mead and the Mississippi River. Western Colorado and eastern Utah were notable exceptions due to considerable early spring rains which resulted in fantastic floristic displays in April and May. I witnessed one of these rainstorms while hiking up to the Corona Arch west of Moab in late March when me and about a hundred other hikers got caught in a downpour forcing us to scramble for shelter in one of the many alcoves along the upper trail.  The most fascinating spectacles were all of the impromptu waterfalls cascading off the canyon walls and creating rivulets everywhere as they merged with the streams in the valleys below. After about an hour, we could continue with the hike. It is fortunate that sandstone does not become too slick when wet, otherwise there would have been a whole lot of accidents. By early May, whole hillsides turned orange from all of the sphaeralceas blooming (S. parvifolia and S. coccinea). Allium macropetalum and A. nevadense were popping out of the sand seemingly everywhere. Cacti like Echinocereus triglochidiatus and Sclerocactus parvifloruswere studded with their red and purple blossoms respectively. I even found some populations of the rare Eremocrinum albomarginatum but for some reason refused to set any seed.  I came across isolated populations of Enceliopsis nudicaulis and Xylorhiza tortifolia v. imberbis. I found a large population of Sphaeralcea janae (S. leptophylla var.) west of Potash but I didn’t collect any seed because I found the flowers too small and the plants too weedy-looking. South of Moab while looking for Penstemon utahensis near old uranium mines, I discovered a large population of Astragalus calycosus and Cryptantha humilis v. nana. I did find a few small plants of the pent but negligible seed. Penstemon utahensis was a main target and I did find a few plants scattered throughout the canyon lands but there just wasn’t enough seed. The badlands northwest of Mack, Colorado is another favorite area of mine and it did not disappoint this year. Several desirable species can be found on these hills of clay and sand. A partial list includes Eriogonum bicolor, Penstemon moffatii, Calochortus nuttallii (pink forms), Sclerocactus parviflorus, Echinocereus triglochidiatus, Abronia glabrifolia, Androstephium brevifolium, Sphaeralcea spp., Lygodesmia grandiflora, Allium nevadense, Xylorhiza venusta, Phlox longifolia, Eriogonum ovalifolium, Astragalus asclepiadoides and many others. Outside of this area, favorable conditions dropped off rapidly. For instance, visiting the Comb Wash area in southern Utah, Talinum brevifolium had bloomed well but there was apparently not enough moisture to allow seed set. Calochortus flexuosus put on quite a show a little further south but not a single pod developed. In the area south of Gateway, Colorado, only about 50 miles southwest of Grand Junction, hardly anything bloomed.  Going north, however, up into the Uintah Mountains and the Diamond Mountain Plateau, another amazing floristic display dazzled me in mid-June. Penstemon caespitosus formed dark blue mats nearly everywhere above 7500 feet, along with dark pink Phlox longifolia, Haplopappus acaulis, Sedum lanceolatum, Sphaeralcea coccinea, Penstemon fremontii, Astragalus argophyllus, Antennaria spp., Arenaria hookeri v. desertorum and many others. Hymenoxys torreyana and Townsendia hookeri were already in seed and the white-flowered form of the local Pediocactus simpsonii nearly so.
In mid-July, I drove up to the Grand Mesa overlooking the Grand Valley to see how conditions were and found amazing displays of Gilia aggregata, coating entire hillsides with their red glow. Penstemon mensarum with their dark blue flowers danced over rock outcroppings here and there. Clematis hirsutissima had just finished but Erigeron speciosus, Helenium autumnale var. montanum, Penstemon rydbergii, Mertensia ciliata and many others were in full bloom. In a somewhat boggy area, I found a large population of Aconitum columbianum with their columns of blue monks-hood flowers. I found myself in Idaho a couple of days later and up in the Albion Mountains, I was looking for Fritillaria atropurpurea and F. pudica and found both, the former about a thousand feet higher. There was plenty of seed of both and I also came across a rock scar covered with tiny allium seed heads which unfortunately were mostly empty. I believe this was a large population of Allium parvum. Lots of Calochortus eurycarpus had bloomed on the lower slopes but were unfortunately too green to collect. Farther north on the Snake river Plains, I returned in September to collect some Chamaebatiaria millefolium seed and farther north yet, near McCall, Philadelphus lewisii was ripe enough to harvest, both of which were nearly exhausted from my inventory.  In August, I spent some time exploring the Snowy Range west of Laramie and was able to collect some Phlox pulvinata (blue form), Erigeron pinnatisectus and E. grandiflorus, Kalmia microphylla, Erythronium grandiflorum and Trollius albiflorus.
The monsoon rains were very active this year over Colorado and Utah. I recall Zion National Park, Capitol Reef N.P. and the town of Moab all experiencing flooding events. It seemed to rain nearly every day up in the mountains of Colorado during July and August and I found it difficult to collect much of anything without fear of being struck by lightning or caught in a deluge. I did manage to secure some seeds of Physaria alpina, Ligularia soldanella, Claytonia megarhiza, Rhodiola integrifolia, Gentiana algida and Gentiana affinis without too much trouble. In the Uintah Mountains, I was amazed to see just how well Penstemon uintahensis had bloomed judging from the hundreds of plants bulging with seed. In the Bear River Range of northeast Utah, Penstemon compactus was likewise full of seed but that was all I was able to collect when a massive thunderstorm trapped me at 9000 feet about 2 miles from the truck. I hunkered down in a ravine with raingear on as I was pelted with hail and several very close lightning strikes. Then my ravine turned into a river and I got soaked anyway despite the raingear. After the storm passed, I slogged down to the truck for a complete change of clothes and a brief rest before driving on. That experience reminded me of another close call during a similar storm up in Montana several years ago. All part of the life of a seed collector.
Another trip to the western slope in early October yielded some Mimulus eastwoodiae seeds. This unique species grows vertical on sheltered canyon wall seeps and blooms very late, in September, with its brilliant scarlet-orange trumpets. In another canyon, Escobaria missouriensis plants with its red pods had just finished ripening. At home, Aster ericoides and Liatris punctata were ripe enough to collect in mid-October. I was also able to successfully cultivate Incarvillea olgae, Echium amoenum and Scrophularia macrantha in my small gardens to round out the collections for this season. Coupled with many cactus seed varieties from Jeff Thompson, I believe I have a decent selection of unusual seeds for the discerning gardener.

Finding and photographing rock art has become another passion of mine. There are thousands of panels in Utah and you can spend a week just exploring all of the rock art around the Moab area alone. Along Kane Creek Road, I saw the Owl Panel, the Birthing Rock, the 29 Sheep Panel, the Moonflower Panel and the Moab Maiden, for most of which some hiking is necessary. The Courthouse Panel along Hwy 191 and the Colorado River rock art along Hwy 279 are perhaps the most accessible panels. West of Green River, the Black Dragon Canyon displays some of the most dramatic art, complete with a dragon several feet wide and several large figures in the Barrier Canyon style. In the same area one can hike to the Petroglyph panel, a small but interesting display of several animals. Farther west, off Hwy 10 south of Price, some major panels are well worth the drive. The Rochester Panel was featured in a National Geographic article some years back and displays a bewildering cacophony of hundreds of figures and symbols. The Buckhorn Panel can be seen right along a dirt road in the heart of the northern part of the San Raphael Swell and features many large figures in the Barrier Canyon style across a couple of hundred feet of canyon wall. And don’t get me started about Nine-Mile canyon, home to hundreds of panels, the most famous of which is the Great Hunt Scene. While checking out the flora south Hanksville, I decided to hike Leprechaun slot canyon in the Irish Canyons complex. It’s a dramatic subway-type slot which ends in slots too tight for most people, including myself. A few miles farther south, one can view the Moqui Queen Panel, an intricately-detailed Barrier Canyon figure.  Last year (2021) I tried to find a reclusive panel in Wild Horse Canyon (north of Goblin State Park) after visiting Wild Horse Windows but it turns out I was looking in the wrong place. This year, I finally found the pictographs about a hundred feet above the valley floor by going farther up the canyon and ascending a steep ledge. Unfortunately, you can’t back up too far to get all of the pictographs in one picture, otherwise you’ll fall off the ledge. So impressed I am with this panel, I decided to make my own painting at home featuring most of the panel spliced together.

My seed inventory has become considerably depleted over the past four years due to my inability to collect enough quantity and variety to maintain that inventory because of family responsibilities (caring for my father) and the pervasive drought throughout the western states.  I had more time this year to put in the effort to start building my inventory back up but it would take many years to restore it to the previous wide selection I once offered. It doesn’t matter though since I have lost over half of my business to overseas customers due to their xenophobic stance towards seed imports. I have decided not to offer Phytosanitary Certificates because I have no desire to participate in bureaucratic paperwork and besides most of my customers will not pay $75.00 to $100.00 per Certificate for a simple seed order. So this season will be a test to see if I can survive financially on domestic orders alone (including Canada).  I plan to re-evaluate year by year whether to continue with the seed business or not. I enjoy the exercise and travel opportunities this business provides, not to mention all of the friends I have made over the years talking about varied botanical subjects from seed germination to ecology of wild flora. I hope I can continue to offer these seeds until my body either gives out or becomes financially untenable.

As I mentioned in my last letter, I do plan to retain the domain name of and I am thinking of turning it into a resource for U.S. plants. I have many more pictures I can post and I could expound on the habitat and culture of all of the plants I have offered in the past plus many more never listed.

Also, five seasons ago, I decided to discontinue publication of the printed catalog. I did issue a letter to all customers the year before and I think by now all of my customers have gotten the message. I’m grateful many customers have continued to follow me on the website alone and to continue supporting me in my endeavors.

And in the interest of self-promotion, I would like to mention, mostly for the benefit of new customers, the following:

In late 2011, I had the great honor to receive the Marcel Le Piniec award from the North American Rock Garden Society for "enriching and extending the range of plant material available to American rock gardeners." It has been a privilege to collect seed and introduce to the horticultural public many new species of plants. My customers are the cognoscenti of the horticultural world and are a wonderful group of people who have shown me nothing but kindness and encouragement in my endeavors. Thank you sincerely for all of your patronage and support over the years!

We also continue to offer seed from the extensive cactus and Yucca collections of Jeff Thompson, an expert in this area for over 30 years. Now numbering nearly 200 different kinds, they can be identified by the "JRT" (field) and "TC" (cultured) numbers in the listings.

We also thank Donnie Barnett for a selection of Opuntia seeds, indicated by "DB".

-- Alan D. Bradshaw, Proprietor




The twelve main seed catalog pages list ALL collections that are available for sale. In the interest of saving myself considerable computer time, I am no longer maintaining the "New Items" pages and I apologize if this causes anyone some inconvenience.

Items listed on the "Archives" pages are NOT AVAILABLE but are listed there for your reference. When a collection sells out, it will be moved to the "Archives" pages.

The 2015 catalog was the last printed catalog issued by us. For the 2016 season, there was a mailing with a cover letter announcing the end of printed catalogs along with a synopsis of my travels and a list of new collections made in 2015. After this, there are no more general mailings. All collections will be maintained on the website only from now on.

For your reference, previous printed catalogs are available for $3.00 each. Issues available are: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.


Our Photo Gallery continues to grow. We will be uploading many more photos in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned and watch our website grow!


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Last Update:   November 1, 2022