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 34th annual seed catalog!
2023 started with a botanical tour of the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico. Some friends of mine from Sweden were touring the southwest deserts in late March and we agreed to meet in Carlsbad so I could give them a tour of some of my favorite botanical sites in the Guadalupes. This area received considerable moisture during the winter of 2022-2023 so lots of the Chihuahuan flora was ablaze with color. Yucca torreyi sported its towering white candelabras, Sophora secundiflorus was festooned with its pendulous lavender blossoms, Choisya dumosa bore multitudes of its fragrant, starry white flowers, Ungnadia speciosa was vibrant with hundreds of pink flowers, long green catkins were just bursting out from the Juglans microcarpa trees, the few Arbutus texana trees with its peeling red bark were festooned with thousands of white, heath-like flowers and the prickly, blue-foliaged Berberis trifoliata canes were lined with yellow-orange blooms. I discovered a population of Astragalus waterfallii in full bloom with its lavender-purple erect blossoms which I had never seen before.  Just 20 miles to the west, the winter rains apparently did not reach the populations of Sophora gypsophila v. guadalupensis for the few shrubs there were hardly blooming at all. When I revisited in early May, an entirely different succession of flora was blooming, namely Acacia roemeriana with white flower balls, A. constricta with yellow balls and wicked white spines, millions of Dasylirion leiophyllum spikes, Centaurium calycosum with its huge balls of hundreds of bright cerise-pink flowers, Cassia roemeriana with its butterscotch-yellow blossoms, Yucca elata by the hundreds, Penstemon cardinalis ssp. regalis, Berlandiera lyrata and Aquilegia chaplinii, among many others. Unfortunately there was not a single spike from the large Agave gracilipes population from which I have been trying to collect seed for many years.
On the way home from the Guadalupes in late March, as I was approaching the town of Raton in northern New Mexico, a large grass fire was burning to the west of the interstate and thick smoke was blowing across to the east, obscuring the road. I immediately started slowing down and moving over to the shoulder to avoid hitting the semi-truck in front of me but the kid driving a sports car behind me did not slow down and rammed into me at full speed, completely smashing my truck. Somehow I wasn’t hurt but the truck bed was completely caved in and even pushed up the drive train enough to bend the steering wheel. I’m amazed the kid wasn’t hurt either but his airbag certainly went off with a bang. After I got home the next day with the kind help of my wife and daughter, I started the long process of collecting the insurance money which I used to fix up my old truck (2010 model) and this became my transportation for the rest of the year.
By April 18, I was ready to go out again and I chose to do some more hiking around the Moab, Utah area. I was looking for some of the elusive Ostrya knowltonii trees and found a small population in a canyon southwest of Moab along with a nice display of Primlua specuicola. Farther southwest, I discovered a large population of Lomatium parryi with its huge yellow ball flowers on impressive mounds of slashed foliage. Revisiting in early June, the lomatium seeds were just about ready to collect, along with Talinum brevifolium. Penstemon strictiformis was blooming with its short racemes of bright lavender flowers as well as Yucca baccata, Purshia stansburyana, Echinocereus triglochidiatus, Hymenoxys caespitosa, Penstemon comarrhenus with tall stalks of pale blue flowers, Asclepias tuberosa and Shepherdia rotundifolia which had bloomed a month earlier but looking like there will be no seed set.
In early May, I decided to go to the Ozarks just for fun. I was hoping to see some Maclura pomifera trees (Osage orange) but could not find any at the published sites. I noticed while driving through Kansas that there was indeed a drought going on, given the dry ground and low water levels in many bodies of water I passed. Around Fayetteville, Arkansas, the conditions looked much better, although I spent a whole day visiting numerous published sites of Erythronium albidus but could never find any seed pods. I did visit Fayetteville Botanical Garden of the Ozarks which has delightful displays of local flora including Amsonia hubrichtii and many other species I have never seen before. The rains came the next day and stayed with me all the way into central Texas when the clouds finally dried up. I finished the trip back in the Guadalupe Mountains as noted earlier.
In early June, back in Moab, I decided to check to see if maybe any of the Eremocrinum albiflorum populations set seed and indeed, there were hundreds of spikes with abundant seed. You may recall last year I noted none of the four populations I visited had produced any seed, apparently being just a bit too dry. Over in the hills around Salina, UT, I found the Townsendia jonesii varieties had set seed for the first time in many years. Continuing on down into northern Arizona, it was apparent winter moisture had triggered abundant bloom there too, allowing collections such as Calochortus kennedyi (orange form), Calliandra eriophylla, Mertensia macdougalii, Phlox woodhousei and Phlox grayi, among many others.
In mid-June, the Plains east of Colorado Springs were coming into full bloom and I was surprised to discover just how rich and varied the flora was there. Four species of penstemon: P. albidus, P. virens, P. virgatus ssp. asa-grayi and P. angustifolius, two castillejas: C. sessiliflorus, C. integra, Mertensia lanceolata, Oxytopis lambertii and several other species spread like a lush colorfire across the Plains. I would return about four times to collect seed as the various species matured.
By late June, western Colorado and many areas in Utah were offering seed of lots of different and desirable species, namely Penstemon utahensis (finally!), Calochortus nuttallii (pink and white forms), Erigeron compactus, Eriogonum bicolor, Sphaeralcea caespitosa, Cryptantha compacta, Cercocarpus intricatus and during my one and only trip to southern California, I picked up some Astragalus coccineus seeds, Erythronium taylorii, E. tuolumnense, Dudleya cymosa, Sphaeralcea ambigua, Allium membranaceum and Yucca schidigera.
By mid-July in central Utah, abundant pods of Asclepias cryptoceras were opening, allowing the fluffy seed to escape. I managed to gather quite a few pods that were just opening. Astragalus loanus with its all-black seed in large fuzzy pods were just maturing also, along with Penstemon confusus and Physaria chambersii with its huge clouds of seed pods. Late July saw me collecting Townsendia grandiflora, which blooms all summer and matures late, Calochortus gunnisonii (Plains form), Calochortus bruneaunis, Penstemon flowersii, Eriogonum tumulosum, E. villiflorum, Calochortus eurycarpus and Allium parvum, the last two up in southern Idaho.
By late July into mid-August, some of the montane to alpine species were starting to produce seed such as Synthyris pinnatifida, Draba subalpina, Claytonia megarhiza, Chaenactis alpina, Penstemon linarioides ssp. coloradoensis, Peraphyllum ramosissima, Penstemon caespitosus v. desertipicti and the wonderful Penstemon tusharensis. Also in mid-August I took a tour of the La Sal Mountains east of Moab for an educational display of floristic transition from canyonlands to montane to subalpine by the time you reach Geyser Pass summit.  At the first plateau above the canyonlands, around 6500 feet, Yucca nana, Y. baccata, Purshia stansburyana, Symphoricarpos oreophila, Chamaechaenactis scaposa, Penstemon utahensis, P. cyanocaulis and Sclerocactus parviflorus populate the mesas and slopes. Higher up, 7000 to 8000 feet, forests of pinyon pine, Amelanchier alnifolia, A. utahensis, Quercus gambelii, Acer glabrum and A. negundo dominate the floristic scene and then at 9000 feet and above, the typical mountain forests of aspen and Douglas fir appear. Along a north-facing ravine under aspens, I found several large bushes of Sambucus racemosa v. microbotrys with their bright red berries and many plants of Smilacina racemosa, also with red berries. Back in Colorado, a drive up into the San Juan mountains allowed the collection of Corydalis caseana ssp. brandegei with their exploding seed capsules and Mertensia ciliata, one of the tallest in the genus. Right before Labor Day saw me grinding my way up the Cumberland jeep trail to collect any last remaining seeds of Erysimum amoenum of which were thankfully quite a few.

On August 20 –21, 2023, Hurricane Hilary dumped record rainfall amounts (over 8 inches in some areas) on most of California, Nevada and up into the Pacific Northwest and Idaho. Many roads, especially those up canyons in southern California and Nevada were washed out. Many homes and businesses were flooded or damaged by mud flows. Some communities will take years to recover, much like the communities in Colorado which were damaged by the floods of Sept., 2013 when more than 20 inches of rain fell in two or three days. All this news pretty much canceled any plans I had for collecting in California in September. I can’t imagine what happened to the plant communities when that much water falls in a short period of time.

In late September, I had the honor and privilege of guiding five botanists and horticulturists, two from Finland, one from Denmark and two from Wisconsin on a botanical tour through various sites in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. Their primary interest was trees and shrubs, although penstemons and other flora attracted attention also. We started with a drive up to the foothills above Boulder and Nederland to see Jamesia americana, then the next day a tour of the Grand Mesa for Holodiscus dumosa, Sambucus racemosa, Distegia involucrata, Penstemon mensarum, Gentiana parryi, Clematis hirsutissima and many other species. Around Moab, we visited several canyon sites to see Ostrya knowltonii, Celtis reticulata, Fraxinus anomala, Frangula betulifolia, Fendlera rupicola, Forestiera pubescens and Mahonia fremontii. The next day saw us in the La Sal Mountains where we discovered a few pinyon pines were dropping nuts and of course all of the flora I already mentioned above for this area. Then we took a drive up into the western Uintah Mountains where I had never been before and discovered large populations of Ceanothus velutinus, Arctostaphylos patula, Pinus contorta, Pinus flexilis and at the highest elevations just below timberline, Ribes montigenum and swaths of Vaccinium uliginosum thickets surrounding some of the mountain lakes. A drive along western Wyoming revealed groves of Acer grandidentatum already changing color but alas no seed. We did find several thickets of Symphoricarpos albus (snowberry) in full fruit. After an overnight rest in Idaho Falls, a drive up the limestone canyons north of Arco, Idaho revealed some Kelseya uniflora cushions with a few seeds, Petrophyton caespitosum, Leptodactylon watsonii, Cercocarpus ledifolius and Ribes aureum. Back in Utah, we drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon where the Zauschneria garrettii plants were still in full bloom with their bright red trumpets highlighting the canyon walls. Further south on the Nebo road, we finally found a few Acer grandidentatum trees with some seed. After an overnight stay in Salina, we headed up the jeep trail into the Pahvant Range, another area I had never been to before and discovered a floristically rich land with an impressive assortment of conifers like Abies concolor and Pinus longaeva and shrubs like arctostaphylos and Cercocarpus ledifolius. I had to return home at this point while the rest of the troupe continued on down into Arizona to visit some of the “sky islands” (isolated mountain ranges.)
After a much-needed rest, I returned to the Guadalupe Mountains for a couple of days in mid-October for seeds of Juglans microcarpa, Acacia roemeriana, Juniperus pinchotii and Fallugia paradoxa. One last trip in the Colorado mountains before the snows fell in late October netted me some Penstemon eatonii and Oxytropis lambertii seeds.
All in all, I managed to collect just over 100 new species to help rebuild my inventory.
Coupled with many cactus seed varieties from Jeff Thompson, I believe I have a decent selection of unusual seeds for the discerning gardener.

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 will take many years to restore it to the previous wide selection I once offered. This year was an excellent start towards rebuilding that inventory given that moisture content has greatly improved over many of the western states. 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 either my body gives out or becomes financially untenable.

Also, six 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, 2023