International Carnivorous Plant Society

Donating Seed

The ICPS Seed Bank survives on seeds donated by members. If your growing conditions allow you to collect seed, please do so and send it to the ICPS Seed Bank.

By donating seed to the seed bank, you benefit by obtaining credit for seed you want from the seed bank. Donating seed benefits other members of the ICPS as growing CPs from seed allows them to learn about and enjoy species they may not otherwise be able to obtain.

The ratio of donations to free packets is 15 packets worth of seed donated for one free packet of seed. The major benefit of donating seed is access to the seeds in the seed bank available only with seed donation credit. Expand your collection with these rare species available in very limited quantity.

Members outside the USA: Sending seeds to the Seed Bank requires the use of our seed import permit and shipment to an inspection station. Seeds must also be very clean and packaged according to the permit instructions. Please read the permit requirements and contact the Seed Bank manager on ClubExpress for the required permit and mailing labels. The permit and labels will need to be mailed to you before you can send the seeds.

USA Members: Please send donated seed to:

International Carnivorous Plant Society   
c/o Mark Anderson   
518 NE 144th Ave.   
Vancouver, WA 98684-8016

USA members also note that with the 2007 and 2011 changes in postal regulations, padded envelopes are treated as packages instead of over-size or non-machineable envelopes. They require being sent via First-Class Package Service with a minimum postage of $5.55 (2024).

Cleaning and Packetizing of seeds is appreciated. 

When collecting seeds, please remember these guidelines:

  • Seed of endangered species cannot be shipped internationally without a CITES permit: If you do not live in the USA, please do not send seeds of these species to the Seed Bank: Sarracenia oreophila, S. rubra ssp. alabamensis, S. rubra ;ssp. jonesii, Pinguicula ionantha, Nepenthes rajah, and N. khasiana
  • The ICPS discourages collection of wild seed. Please only send seeds collected from your personal plants or seeds that were collected legally, with permits or permission.  
  • Be careful about pollination. Many species will self-pollinate. This can be good. Others require cross-pollination with an unrelated plant or a different genetic individual of the same species. If the unrelated plants don't flower at the same time, try freezing the pollen in aluminum foil until it can be used.  
  • Collect the seed in paper envelopes. The reason for paper is the seeds need to dry out. You can buy small envelopes or fold your own. I recommend you fold your own and have a page with instructions to make your own envelopes. These envelopes work MUCH better than any you can buy and they are essentially free if you use paper that would otherwise be recycled.  
  • Separate the seed from other material. Most countries require that imported seeds be cleaned of all chaff. The other plant material with the seeds also can be a source for mold during storage and when the seed is sown. A set of small sieves comes in very handy when cleaning seeds. The Seed Bank has a collection of sieves with different mesh bought at kitchen stores. They work great. Here are instructions for cleaning seed
  • Record the date you collected the seed. Seeds of some species of Nepenthes and Pinguicula have a very limited lifetime. Send them to the Seed Bank immediately; don't test germinate them first. 
  • Except forNepenthes, store the seed in the refrigerator after it has dried and until you can send it to the Seed Bank. 
  • Use a padded envelope when you send seed to the Seed Bank to protect the seed from postal machines. You can put the envelopes of seeds in plastic bags to protect them for moisture during shipment. Please use standard first class or international air mail to send the seeds.