International Carnivorous Plant Society

Seed Bank FAQ

What seeds are in the Seed Bank?

The seeds in the Seed Bank are donated by members. There are a few dedicated members who put in the effort to produce seeds for the Seed Bank. However, with the advent of easy online sales, fewer seeds get donated to the Seed Bank. Availability of seeds may be limited seasonally. Temperate DroseraSarracenia and Dionaea seeds are generally available during the winter and early spring. Tropical Drosera seeds are not as seasonal. Annual ByblisDarlingtoniaPinguiculaUtricularia, and Nepenthes make rare appearances.

Members should check back regularly to see what items are available. If there is something you are particularly interested in, please contact the Seed Bank Manager.

Where is the address for my seed order?

All Seed Bank orders need to be placed at the ICPS Store on the ICPS members web site. If you want to pay with a check you can print out an invoice after placing your order. The invoice will include a postal address to send the payment. 

How up to date is the information on the Seed Bank web site?

Inventory for the Seed Bank is maintained on the ICPS members web site. It is always up to date. Occasionally there are discrepancies between reality and the database.

How accurate is the seed listing?

The seeds are listed according to what the donor says they are. There is no attempt to verify accuracy unless there is an obvious problem. Typos or misclassifications occur and corrections are welcomed. 

How many packets can I order?

The official rules are members may order up to 40 packets in any 12 month period and may only order one packet of each item listed per month. Don't bother asking for two packets of something unless you have a very good reason. Seed orders are recorded in a database so we know your order history. The reasons for these rules are to allow all members to benefit from the Seed Bank and to assure the Seed Bank can continue as a total volunteer operation.

Can I place an order via e-mail or phone?

E-mail orders are accepted only from members who donate seed and have credit with the Seed Bank. The Seed Bank does not accept phone orders. 

Does the Seed Bank ship internationally?

Yes. This is an international organization! If your country requires import permits for seeds, you will need to provide the permits with your seed order. Check the International Shipping page for more information.

Will I get a packing slip?


Do you test germinate seed?

The seed is generally listed on the web site as soon as it is received. It is impractical to test germinate it--especially for species that require stratification or other special treatment. We have to rely on members donating viable seed. Reports of problems are welcome so bad seed can pulled. The seeds are not guaranteed. 

Do you stratify seed before shipment?

The Seed Bank does not stratify seeds. Stratification of seeds requires them to be damp for an extended period of time. Seeds that require stratification need to have it done immediately before or after planting.  

How much seed is included in a packet?

There are a number of factors that determine how much seed is included in a packet.

  1. Just enough. I try to give you just enough to get a start. For most things this is enough to plant some and save some for a second attempt if something bad happens to the first try. 
  2. Supply and demand. There is an attempt to balance the amount of seed with how much seed is in the Seed Bank and how popular it is. If a member sends in a small amount of something very popular, the packets will tend to have fewer seeds than something similar in good supply.
  3. Age of the seed. The older the seed, the more gets put in packets to assure you get something for your effort. 

Is all the seed in the Seed Bank listed on the web site?

Rare seeds in small quantity are held back and offered first to members who donate seed. This is one of the perks for donating seed to the Seed Bank. If you donate seed, indicate what your wish list is. It may already be in stock!

Can I resell Seed Bank seeds?

No, members may not resell Seed Bank seeds. First of all it is a breach of trust with other members who have donated seed and volunteered their time to further the education, research, and conservation goals of the International Carnivorous Plant Society. There is also a legal reason. The ICPS operates as a tax exempt public charity under the USA federal tax code. This prohibits the ICPS from acting as a wholesale distributor to a for-profit enterprise. Members are encouraged to give away or share any excess seeds with friends.