|Photo above shows Penstemon uintahensis in all its alpine glory at 11,500 feet on Leidy Peak in the Uintah Mountains, taken in August, 2006.|
Dear Growing Friends:
Welcome to our 23rd annual seed catalog! We are now working towards the 24th catalog (starting Apr. 23, 2013) and have already added many new collections (see New Items pages.) After an extremely active season, our order backlog was finally cleared about mid-April. My sincerest thanks for your patronage and patience during this time which has been our best season yet. It is extremely gratifying to see such a strong interest in North America's native flora and we feel privileged to be able to give you an opportunity to grow these wonderful plants in your gardens. As we work towards the 2014 catalog, we will continue to list collections as soon as they become available and we will continue to service orders during the low-season months. As I leave on the second trip of the season, please note that you may experience delays to email responses and order fulfilment up to three or four weeks. I will be in the field from May 21 to about June 10, 2013. What follows is the original introduction to the 2013 season, published Nov. 11, 2012.
The summer of 2012 was long, hot and brutal. Snowpack appeared excellent in Colorado, Utah and Idaho but in reality it was very thin and by mid-June the mountains were looking nearly bare, already resembling August. The early bloomers of the Snake River Plains of southern Idaho and the scablands of eastern Washington such as Viola beckwithii, V. trinervata, Ranunculus glaberrimus, Ranunculus andersonii, Fritillaria pudica and Primula cusickiana put on quite a show in mid-April but the lack of seed-set on many of these species ominously signaled the drought and fires to come. The Snake River, roaring precipitously over Shoshoni Falls in April dwindled to a trickle in May during what would normally be the height of snow-melt season. By mid-June, the Front Range of Colorado and the entire Midwest were experiencing temperatures of over 100°F (38°C) nearly every day. Two major fires erupted, one near Fort Collins and the other in Colorado Springs, destroying hundreds of homes and blanketing the entire Front Range with choking smoke. The fires were eventually quelled but real relief did not arrive until July 5 with the advent of the summer monsoon. Even then the rains were more sparse than usual, but it was enough to keep the fires at bay. The relentless heat marched on and by late July extensive fires were burning across Idaho, Montana and central Washington. Despite all this, many plant populations managed to bloom quite well and set at least some seed. In a year like this, seeps, swales, springs, vestigial snowbanks and localized rainstorms became much more important in my search for seeding plants. I found myself favoring areas of the Pacific Northwest where conditions were near average, at least west of the Cascades. Even in northern California, it was obvious moisture was limited. The Great Basin was a disaster, no winter moisture at all had fallen there. Farther south in California and throughout the desert southwest, the drought intensified. However, in northern Idaho, Erythronium idahoense flowered extensively, whole meadows were covered with thousands of the creamy, pendant blossoms. One of my most satisfying finds had to be Sedum valens. The tiny glaucous rosettes, surrounded by a ring of red leaves, are a succulent connoisseur’s dream. In southern Oregon, the brilliant red spikes of Pedicularis densiflora lit up the Siskiyou forest floor. Further north in Oregon, large populations of Erythronium elegans, Erythronium oregonum ssp. leucandrum, trilliums and sedums provided wonderful picture-taking opportunities. Eriogonum species did well despite the drought, since many of them are true xerics. Collecting alpine species in the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah was disappointing. Quantities of such gems as Aquilegia saximontana and the blue-flowered Phlox pulvinata are very limited and Ligularia soldanella, for instance, set no seed at all. However, the wild seed collections combined with some excellent cultivated seed provide over 160 new acquisitions for our seed catalog, with many more anticipated to come.
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. I only hope I may serve as long as my body will permit. 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 over 100 different kinds, they can be identified by the "JRT" numbers in the listings.
-- Alan D. Bradshaw, Proprietor
The twelve main seed catalog pages list ALL collections that are available for sale.
The collections listed on the "New Items" pages show only the new collections acquired since the publication of the 2012 ALPLAINS seed catalog. Returning customers may find these helpful.
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 printed 2013 catalogs are now available and have been mailed out to all of our current customers. If you are not currently on our mailing list, you may request a free copy (includes 43 color photos) by writing or faxing us, or sending us an e-mail.
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 Major Update: November 11, 2012
Minor Update: November 24, 2012
Minor update: April 24, 2013