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Native Seed Library: About

What's new

  • A recording of our workshop, "“Starting From Seeds: Growing Native Plants in the Low Desert" as part of the Audubon Southwest's Spring webinar series is now online
  • The Maricopa Native Seed Library was recently featured on TV 15
  • Materials from our workshop "Pollinator gardening in the low desert of central Arizona" as well as earlier workshops are now available
  •  The seed library was recently featured on KJZZ's The Show
  • The seed library was recently featured in an article in the Phoenix New Times. Wondering about the mustard plant prominently featured in the article? See this follow up for more information. 


Vision and Purpose

The Maricopa Native Seed library provides free, native seed to the community, as well as education and information to make it easy to incorporate these plants into your yards, patios and balconies. Anyone can include some native plants into their residences, whether you have a lot of space or a small apartment.

The benefits of gardening are numerous and well documented, both for people and for wildlife! Everyone can participate in conserving native plants and the pollinators and other wildlife that depend on them, even with a small amount of native plants. The Maricopa Native Seed Library invites you to join with us in creating a living landscape at home. The seed library also features a range of desert-adapted varieties of fruits, vegetables and grains to address food security in our community.

Want to learn more about the seed library's origins and how seed is collected? Watch this interview with the seed library's founder, Danielle Carlock.


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Where to get seeds

To reach as many people as possible, the Maricopa Native Seed Library has established several locations across the Valley as well as a pilot mail order service. To learn more about the seeds we offer, see our plant profiles and lists. Note that at all locations only 3 seed packets can be taken per month.

Obtaining seeds:

1. Phoenix College Library - Check website for hours. Seeds are available to the public just inside library entrance; due to the pandemic access to the rest of the building is restricted to students, faculty, and staff.  

2. Gateway Community College Library-visit website for hours and additional information. Because of the pandemic, at this time, access to the library is restricted to faculty, staff and students.

3. Library at Red Mountain (Mesa Community College)-offering seeds via a curbside service to all, including community members. To check on availability and schedule pickup, please call the RM Library Circulation Desk at 480-654-7741.

4. We have a small selection of seeds that can be ordered online and mailed to addresses in Maricopa County only. No more than 3 seed packets per month can be ordered at a cost of $1 to cover shipping and handling. Please read over the limitations and terms before placing your order. Contact us at if you have any questions. NOTE: orders placed after 3/15 will be delayed due to us catching up from the district wide network outage



Where did the seeds come from?

The seeds in the seed library come from the following sources:

1. Tonto National Forest-the majority of seeds have been collected under permit from the Tonto National Forest, including sites in the Superstitions, Mazatzals, and Cave Creek/Seven Springs areas.

2. Scottsdale Community College-some seeds have been collected at the SCC campus, including and especially those for which large populations on the Tonto have not been located (ex: Penstemon eatonii, Hilaria rigida)

3. Home garden-some seeds have been collected from the home garden of the seed library's founder. This includes some species that have been difficult to locate in the wild including Conoclinium greggii, all three Hibiscus species, Gaillardia aristata, Penstemon parryi, Penstemon pseudospectabilis, and Penstemon palmeri.

4. Donations-The seed library has obtained donations of food plant seeds from various seed companies.


Maricopa Community Colleges acknowledge the land our colleges' are situated on today as the traditional land and home of the O'odham, Piipaash, Yavapai, and Yaqui peoples. There are 22 federally recognized tribes in Arizona and 574 across the United States. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory, and we honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land on which we gather. Without them, we would not have access to our education or the land we live, work, learn and commune on. We take this opportunity to thank the original caretakers of this land. We offer our respect to their Elders and to all Indigenous people of the past, present and future.  


For more information please contact us at