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Start Your Seed Collections Here!

These collections are specially designed to give you a set of fabulous varieties at a reduced price. Each variety is individually packaged. Substitutions may become necessary.

A selection of chiles and chiltepines representing the diversity of shapes, colors and heats within our offerings. Includes Ordoo, Wenks Yellow Hots, Del Arbol, Negro de Valle, Pico de Pajaro, Isleta, Sinahuisa, Mirasol, Tabasco, Kori Sitakame, and South Texas Chile Piquin. 11 packets. $25.95 SC001

A selection of varieties developed by the Hopi, renowned for the hardiness and diversity of their native crops. A great selection for high desert locales. Includes red dye amaranth, pumpkin, casaba melon, yellow-meated watermelon, cotton, mixed sunflower, rattle gourd, both black and light yellow beans, yellow limas, and Greasy Head flour corn. 11 packets. $25.95 SC002

High Desert Seed Bucket

Each waterproof, sealed, recycled plastic can contains 27 individual packages of openpollinated vegetable and herb seeds selected for high desert gardens in the Southwest. Suitable for long-term storage and seed saving. Includes a copy of Basic Seed Saving. These are the seeds we would want in a survival situation. Seed packages are sized for an average sized family garden. $64.95 TS602

Tohono Oodham
Highlights the remarkably heat- and droughttolerant low desert crops developed by the Tohono Oodham of southern Arizona. Includes ha:l squash, ke:li ba:so melon, yellow-meated watermelon, dipper gourd, pink bean, both white and brown teparies, devils claw, sorghum, uus mu:n cowpea, and 60-day flour corn. 11 packets. $25.95 SC003

Southwest Warm Season Garden

Hand-picked vegetable and herb varieties by Greg Peterson of the Urban Farm in Phoenix for desert gardens maturing in the warm season. 16 packets. $32.95 TS600

Low Desert Seed Bucket

Each waterproof, sealed, recycled plastic can contains 27 individual packages of openpollinated vegetable and herb seeds selected for both winter and summer gardens in the lower desert regions of the Southwest. Suitable for long-term storage and seed saving. Includes a copy of Basic Seed Saving. These are the seeds we would want in a survival situation. Seed packages are sized for an average sized family garden. $64.95 TS603

Southwest Cool Season Garden

Hand-picked herb and vegetable varieties by Greg Peterson of the Urban Farm in Phoenix for desert gardens maturing in the cool season. 16 packets. $32.95 TS601

ON THE COVER: Dragon carrot (TS062, page 53) used under creative commons license ( licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en), Tarahumara Apachito (red kernels, ZT033, page 24), and Tarahumara Serape (chinmarked, ZT044, page 24).

Ancient Seeds for Modern Needs...

Native Seeds/SEARCH (Southwest Endangered Aridlands Resource Clearing House) is a non-profit organization that conserves, distributes and documents the adapted and diverse varieties of agricultural seeds, their wild relatives and the role these seeds play in cultures of the American Southwest and northwest Mexico. We promote the use of these ancient crops and their wild relatives by gathering, safeguarding, and distributing their seeds to farming and gardening communities. We also work to preserve knowledge about their uses.

Board of Directors
Chair Vice-chair Secretary Treasurer David Tiers Danielle Ignace Kim Fernndez Michael McDonald

Join us in the important work of saving seeds and helping to

preserve the crop heritage passed on to us by Native peoples, settlers, and explorers of the Greater Southwest. Become involved in our efforts by joining or donating to Native Seeds/SEARCH. Members receive a 10% discount on purchases in our retail store, catalog or online. In addition, members receive our newsletter, the Seedhead News. Each issue contains gardening tips, recipes, previews of workshops and other special events, book reviews and feature articles on our projects and crops. Please use the form on page 66 to join or give a gift membership.

Martha Burgess Barney T. Burns Jim Cook Mahina Drees Sage Goodwin Sally Harris Donna House Ron Wells Janos Wilder

Visit our Retail Store!

3061 N. Campbell Ave. (just south of Ft. Lowell) Tucson, AZ 85719 Open MonSat. 105 Sunday 124
For more information or to order online, visit our secure website: or email Orders can also be faxed to 520.622.5591
clockwise from top right: Native Seeds/SEARCH Retail Store in Tucson, a peek inside the store, the Conservation Farm in Patagonia, shelves and shelves of seed in our Seed Bank, and the Conservation Center

Directors Letter
Native Seeds/SEARCH is a breathtaking example of non-profitbased, self-organized, forward thinking problem solving. Together, we are building a more sustainable and abundant world. Become a part of this dynamic circle of people. Join us as we reach out to our next bold objectives: Financial responsibility for our collection. We want to leave our children with the financial resources to care for our priceless collection. Every purchase helps. Every donation helps. Every friend you tell helps. Inquire about planned giving and workplace contributions. In a thousand years, those looking back may well see this as the most important thing we did together in this tumultuous time. A vibrant seed-saving community. The strength of our food ecosystem is dependent upon its diversity. The more we save seeds, the more diversity we will create. Education and inspiration to save seeds is integral to our mission. As farmers and gardeners, we encourage you to take the next important step. Plant something special, and save your own seeds. Buy a copy of Basic Seed Saving (page 40). Attend Seed School. Join the scores of graduates of Seed School who have gone on to start bioregional seed companies, seed exchanges and seed libraries across the continent. A new regional and sustainable agriculture. Evidence of a new, sustainable agriculture in the Southwest is emerging from Sabores Sin Fronteras to Greg Petersons 10,000 Urban Farms in Phoenix. Native Seeds/SEARCH is dedicated to using its seed resources to help grow the movement. We will provide world-class trials, testing and seed production to support regional food initiatives, bringing diversity to gardens, kitchens, and tables across the Southwest. Look for our new label Steve Peters, former head of seed production for Seeds of Change, steps in as our new Farm Supervisor. He brings 25 years of experience to help us fulfill our regions need for new seed.
Chiltepin plant (see page 21).

Native Seeds/SEARCH offers an incredible opportunity for you to help create a new world. Every purchase from this catalog keeps the lights on (in many ways). Enjoy the unprecedented diversity available in these pages. The future is now.

Bill McDorman Executive Director

Belle Starr Deputy Director

Our Seedlisting
This catalog represents our continuing effort to offer and distribute seeds adapted to arid environments within our region and around the world. You will find planting instructions provided for each crop. General guidelines have been developed for both low desert and high desert conditions based on our experiences in Tucson, Arizona, the Conservation Farm at 4,000 ft. in Patagonia, Arizona, and the feedback of our many members, volunteers and customers.

Our Seed Policy

Limited Availability When placing an order for seeds, please remember Native Seeds/ SEARCH is a non-profit conservation organization. We have a limited quantity of some seeds. We sometimes limit regular orders to six packets each of certain varieties. Member Seeds New for 2012, single packets of seeds from our collection in short supply will be available to Native Seeds/SEARCH members and Native Americans via our website. Membership dues are a critical source of support for our conservation activities. Through this new program we will keep many additional rare varieties available for distribution and further support our core conservation work. Look for member seeds on our website beginning sometime during the first quarter of 2012. Substitutions On occasion it may be necessary to substitute seed due to lack of availability. Native American Free Seed Program We have a special seed policy for Native American farmers and gardeners. (See page 63.) Seed Quality We are dedicated to selling the highest quality seed available. All Native Seeds/SEARCH seeds offered here have passed germination tests. Most of them are hand cleaned. They are stored in cool, dry conditions. Freezing is our only method of insect control. Untreated Seed All of our seeds are untreated and allowable for use in certified organic programs.
Tepary bean plant (see page 16).

Not seeing an old standby? Our website lists hundreds of additional varieties we couldnt fit into this catalog, from Chilaca chiles and Hopi Striped sunflowers to Hernandez Dipper gourds, Sangre de Toros beans and Tarahumara Serape corn. Find them by visiting Larger Quantities Bulk quantities are available for many of the seed varieties we offer. Please visit our website to check on the current availability of bulk seed quantities and to place bulk orders.
continued next page

Our Seedlisting


Our Guarantee Every item in our catalog comes with our guarantee. Please contact us if there is any problem. We shall promptly and happily try to correct it. If not satisfied, we promise to replace any item or refund the purchase price.

Safe Seed Pledge NS/S is a member of the Safe Seed Initiative. We do not buy, sell or use genetically modified seeds. For more information, please contact The Safe Seed Initiative, c/o Council for Responsible Genetics, 5 Upland Road, Suite 3, Cambridge, MA 02140; phone 617.868.0870;

The symbols H (high desert), L (low desert) and H/L (both high and low desert) are indicated after each variety description. These are merely guidelines and based on our experience in Tucson and Patagonia. Often plants defy our attempt to categorize their growing patterns. Plant what you like, experiment, track your successes and report back to us! (See page 25 for more information.)

About the seeds we steward...

Is our seed hybrid? No and yes. No, our seeds are not hybrid in the sense of being produced through controlled pollination often with highly inbred lines by modern plant breeders. Hybrids are typically developed for large-scale high input agricultural production systems. In other words, we do not sell F1 hybrids. However, natural hybridization the crossing of genetically distinct parents, both within and between populations, varieties, and species has been important in the evolution of crop diversity. It is a natural process, resulting from open-pollination, and one that farmers have often used to their advantage. Thus, hybridization in this larger sense is likely reflected in the genetic make-up of much of our seed. The seeds we offer in our catalog, on the web and in our store were originally collected from subsistence and small-scale farmers and gardeners. These are the food crops that have sustained traditional communities for centuries. They have been selected and nourished by farmers over generations, becoming adapted to local environmental conditions and cropping systems, and their individual flavors, odors, and textures have infused local culinary and ceremonial practices. They are the result of much open-pollination, natural hybridization, and subsequent selection (both natural and human-imposed). We celebrate this diversity! What about organic? Our Conservation Farm has not yet been certified organic. According to the USDAs National Organic Program, none of our seeds can be officially labeled as organic. However, our growing practices meet and often exceed the standards for organic certification. We use no nitrogen-based commercial fertilizers, relying instead on cover crops, green manures and crop rotations to maintain or improve soil fertility. We are committed to the ecologically sound stewardship of the Conservation Farm, i.e., managing its soil, water, insect and plant resources in a manner that is rooted in the understanding and application of sound ecological principles. It would not be consistent with our long-term stewardship role to act in a manner that pollutes the water we use to irrigate our crops, or destroys pollinators, beneficial insects or soil microorganisms that provide essential ecosystem services. We seek to leave a small and unobtrusive footprint while stewarding these precious resources. While we support the certified organic program, purchasing only organically labeled seeds may sacrifice diversity. Over the last century, a large percentage of the worlds crop diversity has been lost. Much of the remaining diversity is not yet available as certified organic seeds. If you find seeds for your farm or garden that are not organic, grow them organically, save the seeds, and in one season add another treasure to the worlds growing collection of organic seeds!

Community Seed Grants

Supporting education, food security, and community development projects in the Greater Southwest through targeted donations of seeds.
Native Seeds/SEARCH is pleased to offer small donations of our seeds to eligible organizations in the Greater Southwest region. These Community Seed Grants are designed to support the work of educators and those working to enhance the nutritional, social, economic, or environmental health of underprivileged groups in the region, while simultaneously keeping locally-adapted crop varieties alive and in active use in farms and gardens. Donations are open to organizations working on educational, food security, or community development projects. Strong preference is given to organizations working in the Greater Southwest region.

Maize, squash, beans, and greens grow in this garden at Mountain Elementary School in Flagstaff, Arizona. The seeds were donated by Native Seeds/SEARCH via a Community Seed Grant in early 2011.

During 2011 we donated a total of nearly 700 seed packets to 35 organizations working to enhance food security, nutrition, education, or community development in the Southwest region and beyond. Applications are reviewed three times each year in January, May and September. Please visit our website for more information and to apply:

Seed Watch is a Seed Buyers Guide which will help you make the important decisions necessary to source your seeds. It offers three categories for selecting seeds: Best, Good Alternatives, and Avoid. This gem of a pocket guide includes a helpful glossary and a primer on the pros and cons of GMO (genetically modified) and certified organic seeds. A copy of Seed Watch is included with every mail or online order. Free copies are available for schools, nonprofits, community gardens, churches and any other group wishing to help spread the seed gospel. Thanks to the Southwestern Foundation for the funding to make this possible!

Growing & Seedsaving Information

Growing healthy seed

Visit for more information

Plant healthy, non-diseased seed. Thin plants to a recommended distance within and between rows most plants simply do better with a little breathing room and good air-circulation can help prevent disease (see individual crops for recommended planting distances). Rogue (remove) plants that are diseased or otherwise unhealthy looking. If youre trying to keep pure seed lines, also rogue out plants that dont appear true-to-type (what you know the plant to look like).

Keeping lines pure

Growing more than one variety of the same species at a time may result in crossing. Planting the seeds from crosses may produce something entirely different than youre expecting which is how we got all this wonderful diversity to begin with! However, if you want to get the same crop you did last year, then you may need to prevent cross-pollination from occurring. There are several ways to do this: Spacing. Plant different varieties at a suitable distance to ensure insects or wind cannot effectively carry pollen from one variety to another. See box to right for recommended standard distances for some crops. Timing. Plant different varieties of the same species at different times so that they are not flowering at the same time. This may involve an early and late planting. Be sure there is enough time at the end of the season for the late planting to mature before the first frost. Isolation cages. Physically prevent insects from visiting one variety or another by constructing screen cages and placing them over one or more varieties. This is best used for non-sprawling crops, such as tomatoes, beans (they can cross-pollinate if insects are abundant), okra, cotton, and chiles. Hand-pollinating. Manually transfer pollen from one flower to another. Hand pollination will differ depending on the crop but essentially you want to be sure that neither the flower being pollinated nor the one used as the pollen source have been previously pollinated.

Tucson Seed
Too many times in the course of a day, we heard customers at our retail store ask if we carried common garden variety seeds. Now the answer is a resounding YES. Our vision of the greater Southwest has always been a place where farms and gardens, kitchens and tables, stores and restaurants brim full with the diversity of aridlands-adapted heirloom crops. We are now using our seed knowledge and resources to find, test and select the best seeds of lettuce, carrots, broccoli and all of the other popular garden crops. Purchase Tucson Seed varieties from this seedlisting, our website or our retail store. See the yellow boxes in this catalog? Theyre full of Tucson Seed!

We have new seed packets! Our improved packets now feature color photos and more planting and seedsaving information.

Tucson Seed varieties are non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated and not patented, using the resources of Native Seeds/SEARCH to help test and supply the best seeds for gardens and small farms.

Days to maturity
If you are accustomed to seed catalogs that provide the number of days to maturity for their seeds, you may wonder why we do not provide this data for many of the seeds offered here. Although the number of days can be a guide for selecting varieties suitable to your area, seed companies publish an average number of growing days, using data from different areas and conditions. For example, a 75-day bean may mature in 65 days in California, 85 days in Maine, and 79 days in Missouri. We do not list days to maturity because we often dont have reliable information. Some of our varieties are from isolated regions with varied microclimates. Moreover, many of our crops reach maturity in different lengths of time, depending on when they are planted e.g., in the spring or with the summer rains.

Let seeds mature before harvesting. For most crops, this means leaving them in the field to dry corn, beans, gourds, okra, devils claw, peas, chiles, etc. Some crops require after-ripening (e.g., squash) or fermentation (tomatoes).

Cleaning & saving seeds

Remove all plant material, including chaff, stems, or flesh from seeds and allow to dry thoroughly. Use sealable plastic bags, paper envelopes, jars with good lids or any airtight container to store seed from one year to the next. Spread wet seeds from squash, melons, tomatoes, etc., on clean dish towels. We do not recommend paper towels (they stick) or newspaper (toxic print). Store seeds in a cool, dry place, such as your hall closet or freezer.

Recommended distances to prevent crossing between varieties

Appropriate distances to keep between varieties of the same species may vary, depending on the source. In general, wind pollinated crops (e.g., corn) and crops visited by insect pollinators capable of traveling some distance (e.g., carpenter bees, honeybees) should be grown a mile or more apart from each other. Self-pollinated crops (e.g., beans) may require as little as 20 ft., depending on whats grown in-between or the abundance of insect pollinators present (the more insects, the more likely pollen may find its way from one plant to another). See individual crop descriptions for recommended isolation distances.

The Original Seedsavers

The following is a brief anthropological introduction to the Native Americans living in the Greater Southwest region; it may not reflect the origin stories for these people.

The Hopi Indians of northern Arizona are known for their blue corn and katsinas. Both symbolize their religion and culture, which they have protected by selectively borrowing from other cultures rather than being inundated by them. Kokopelli, the humpedback flute player, is an ancient symbol representing fertility and demonstrating the linkages between North and South America in prehistoric times, as he also appears in Peruvian mythology. The routes that Kokopelli traveled are also the paths of dispersal of the corn, beans, squash and native grains that we seek to preserve today. Havasu Baaja, the Havasupais or "blue-green water people, have tended farms in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River since "the beginning of time. Although there once were farms at Indian Gardens, Phantom Ranch and elsewhere in what became the Grand Canyon National Park, Havasupai farming is now confined to Havasu Canyon. The farmers grow a wide diversity of field and tree crops, and their peaches are especially renowned. The crops are irrigated by Havasu Creek, which then flows on to form the beautiful, famous waterfalls. Havasupais and Hopis have ancient trade and cultural ties and their farmers have always exchanged seeds. Linguistically unrelated but similar in material culture, the Zuni, Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Tesuque, Santo Domingo, Taos and other New Mexico Pueblo peoples shared crop varieties. Their pottery is world renowned, and their inspiring religious dances attract thousands of observers. Irrigation is sometimes available and helps produce very long ears of blue corn, hot and mild chiles, squash, and melons. Spanish settlers adopted many farming traditions of the Pueblos. Yuman-Hokan speakers, including the ancestors of the Maricopa, Mojave, Quechan and Cocopah, began farming the flood plains along the Gila and lower Colorado Rivers about 800 A.D. Around 1100 the great rivers flooded the basin now known as the Mexicali/ Imperial/Coachella/Yuma Valleys, forming a great lake, and a new habitat for the people. The lake dwellers went back to being river people when Lake Cahuilla dried up around 1500, shortly after the arrival of the first Spanish explorers. In 1540 Hernando de Alarcn sailed into the Colorado River delta and was received by the river people with gifts, including corn. Later they shared their crops with the Oate party,

ABOVE:: Supai children with the Supai sunflower. TOP FROM LEFT: Tribal symbols of Hopi, Havasu Baaja, New Mexico Pueblo peoples, Yuman-Hokan, Din, Apache, O'odham, Yoeme and Yoreme, Guarijo, Tepehuan, and Tarahumara peoples.


Father Kino and missionary Francisco Garcs, who wrote of the Cucap, "Here I camped...and regaled myself with some very savory watermelons. The Din (Navajo) arrived in the Four Corners area only a short time before the Spanish. They converted from their hunter/gatherer raider lifestyle to sheep raising and farming. They now have the largest acreage in native crops of any U.S. tribe. Navajo blankets are famous worldwide. Their crops and farming methods are largely adapted from their Hopi and Pueblo neighbors, who are descended from the ancient occupants of the northern Southwest, the Anasazi. The Apaches, like their Athabascan cousins, the Din, have a more restricted farming tradition. They currently occupy mostly mountainous reservations in central Arizona and New Mexico. Apache baskets and bead work are very beautiful. The O'odham (Akimel and Tohono) and Lower Pima gave us some of the world's most drought-hardy, heat-tolerant and alkali-adapted crops. Their desert homeland stretches from Phoenix, Arizona, to east central Sonora, Mexico (where they are called Pima Bajo in the lowlands and Mountain Pima in the oak and pine highlands). It includes some of the hottest, driest areas of North America. In addition to the O'odham selections of 60-day corn, tepary beans and striped cushaw squash grown with the summer rains, they also developed an agriculture using flood water or run-off in temperatures consistently exceeding 100 degrees. The Mountain Pima grow corn, beans and squash similar to their Tarahumara neighbors, and also cultivate amaranth. The Yoeme (Yaqui) and Yoreme (Mayo) Indians live in southern Sonora and northern Sinaloa, Mexico, along the Yaqui, Mayo and El Fuerte river valleys, as well as the frost-free deserts in between. The deer and pascola dances, made famous by the Yoeme, are common to both cultures. The goat is but one of the many mask designs utilized in the pascola dance. Yoreme women are acclaimed for their

beautiful plant dyes, such as the indigo found in their wool blankets. The traditional agriculture in this region has been heavily eroded but the far southern Mayos are our source for chapalote, an ancient popcorn. In the thorn scrub vegetation of the Sierra Madre foothills near Alamos, Sonora, live a people little known but rich in traditional crops, the Guarijo. From them we have obtained nearly extinct panic grass and amaranth, an ancient, high-lysine grain. In addition, we offer cowpeas and conivari from these secluded farmers, who are also fine weavers of palm leaf panama hats. The design above is typical Guarijo rock art. The Northern Tepehuan also live in the Sierra Madre, south of the Tarahumara. In their fields near Nabogame grow the northernmost currently reported populations of teosinte, the goal of Native Seeds/SEARCH expeditions in 1985. This wild corn relative probably has been interbreeding with Tepehuan corn varieties for millennia. The Tepehuan, linguistically related to the O'odham, grow many more varieties of beans, chiles and squash. Due to their closer proximity to the equator, Tepehuan crops are sometimes dependent on more nearly equal day lengths for fruiting and may not grow in U.S. gardens. The Tarahumara Indians occupy remote slopes and deep canyons of the Sierra Madre of Chihuahua and Durango, Mexico, where they have retreated from the oppression of the modern world. This isolation allows them to maintain one of the world's most intact traditional agricultural systems. Because of the variety of elevations that they farm, their crop varieties are amazingly diverse. In addition to at least ten races of corn, runner beans and numerous common beans, they have given us chiltepines, gourds, greens, herbs, peas, squash, tomatillos, sunflowers, tobacco and wild onions. Both men and women of the Tarahumara are noted longdistance endurance runners. Tarahumara women also weave beautiful, utilitarian baskets.



Amaranth Amaranthus spp.


Grown by the Aztecs and by Southwest Indians for millennia, the small grain is rich in lysine and the young leaves are high in calcium and iron. Approx. 0.3g/50 seeds per packet. Culture: Plant in spring or with summer rains by broadcasting and raking in seeds, or plant 1/4 inch deep in basins or rows. Thin the edible seedlings to 10-15 inches apart. Seedsaving: As wind- or insect-pollinated annuals, amaranth species will readily cross. To prevent this, put paper or cloth bags over flower heads. When ripe, cut off dried heads and lightly beat in a bag to remove seed. Screen or winnow off chaff.


Alamos A. cruentus. A beautiful amaranth from the colonial town of Alamos in southern Sonora. The leaves are green with red-tinged veins and the flowers (bracts) are bright fuchsia-colored. Seeds are black. L C019 Guarijio Grain A. hypochondriacus x A. hybridus. Guegui. From the Rio Mayo in Sonora, a white-seeded grain used for tamales, pinole or popping. H/L C005 Hopi Red Dye A. cruentus. Komo. The attractive plant can grow 6 tall with a 1-2 long inflorescence. The Hopi make a scarlet natural food dye from the flower bract to color piki bread. In Hopi land, this readily crosses with wild A. powellii. Black seeds are edible. H/L C002 Mano de Gato Celosia cristata. Cats Paw. Cockscomb-type ornamental with bright fuchsia-colored flowers and black seeds. Leaves are bright green with red-tinged edges. From Alamos, Sonora. L C013

Hopi Red Dye

Mano de Gato

Mayo Grain A. cruentus. A black-seeded variety from Sonora. The leaves are used as quelites (greens), and the seeds are used for esquite (parched), pinole and atole. L C003 Mountain Pima Greens A. cruentus. From the Sonora-Chihuahua border in Mexico. The leaves are used for greens and the light-colored seeds are ground for pinole. H C004 New Mexico A. hypochondriacus. From a dooryard garden near Rinconada, its beautiful pink and white inflorescences yield edible golden seeds. H/L C006

Mayo Grain

Tarahumara Okite A. cruentus. Collected from a ranch above Batopilas, a silver mining town stretched along the Rio Batopilas at the bottom of Barranca del Cobre. Black seeds with brilliant red flowers and stems. Seeds and young leaves used as food. 4-6 tall. H C015

Cooking with Amaranth:

Leaves: All amaranth leaves can be eaten as raw or cooked greens when small, but some are more palatable than others. Try mixing the leaves with other greens for a colorful salad. Grain: Cleaned seeds can be cooked whole as a hot cereal or ground finely in a mill or blender and added to your favorite recipe. Replace the amount of flour called for with one part amaranth flour to three or four parts wheat flour. Popped: Heat an ungreased steel wok or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in 1 tablespoon amaranth seeds, and keep them moving with a brush or spoon to prevent burning. As soon as the popping stops, empty the pan. If seeds dont pop well, sprinkle them lightly with water, and try again later when theyve had time to absorb the moisture.


Bean Phaseolus spp.

Native to the New World, beans are a traditional protein complement to corn, rich in minerals, with a variety of tastes and colors. Members of the legume family, beans fix nitrogen from the air if certain nitrogen-fixing bacteria are present in the soil. Beans also contain soluble fiber helpful in controlling cholesterol and diabetes.

Common Bean Phaseolus vulgaris


Common beans are a diverse and important crop to Native American farmers throughout the Southwest. They are eaten young as green beans or dried and shelled. Plants can be bush, semi-pole, or pole. Approx. 15g/50 seeds per packet. Culture: Beans need warm soil for best germination. Plant seeds in spring or summer about 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart or in basins. Semi-pole and pole varieties will benefit from a trellis try intercropping them with corn or sorghum. Overwatering will cause chlorosis, yellowing in young leaves due to nutrient deficiencies. Seedsaving: An annual that is generally self-pollinating, but can cross with other common bean varieties. Dried pods can be harvested throughout the growing season, or harvest whole plants as described for teparies. Separate varieties by 10 yards (9 meters).

Frijol Chivita

Amarillo del Norte Large golden pole bean from Vadito, New Mexico (8,000). Early-maturing. Similar in appearance to Tarahumara Frijol Amarillo and Hopi Yellow. H PC012 Colorado Bolita Pinkish-beige Hispanic heirloom dry-farmed at 7,000 in the Four Corners area. Early-maturing bean with good green beans and colorful pods. High-yielding. H PC067 Four Corners Gold Rounded gold bean from the Four Corners region. Earlymaturing, with excellent green beans and a non-vigorous climbing (pole) habit. H PC124 Frijol Chivita Little goat. A yellow Jacobs Cattle bean from the arid pion, oak and juniper area of the eastern Tarahumara in Chihuahua. Also known as Golondrina or Cinco Minutos. Color may vary from white with gold mottling to gold with white mottling. Reputed to be faster cooking than many other beans. H/L PC125 Frijol en Seco New Mexican brown and beige pinto collected in Bernalillo. Early-maturing, high-yielding bushy pole bean. H PC090 Hopi Black Small, rounded, black pole bean, dry- or runoff-farmed by Hopi farmers. Can be used for dye. Produces dark lilac flowers and purple mature pods. Early-maturing, prefers monsoon rains. H PC068 Hopi Black Pinto Striking black and white/beige pinto. Dry-farmed in Hopi fields of northeastern Arizona. Early-maturing, bushy pole beans with colorful mottled pods. High-yielding. H PC018 Hopi Light Yellow Large, light yellow-beige beans from Hotevilla collections. Also called grease beans, plants are somewhat early-maturing pole beans. High-yielding with good green beans. H PC105

Hopi Black Pinto

Hopi Yellow

Oodham Pink



More Common Bean


Hopi Pink High-yielding, medium-large pink beans collected from dry-farm fields near Hotevilla. Early-maturing, good as a green bean. H PC020 Hopi Purple String Bean A purple bean with black crescent moon-shaped stripes. Dry farmed. H PC102 Hopi Yellow Sikya mori. Large bronze seeds, common in Hopi country, may be dry-farmed or irrigated. High-yielding pole type, good as a green bean. H PC019

Taos Red
New Mexico Bolita Pinkish-beige rounded beans grown for centuries by traditional Hispanics of northern New Mexico in irrigated plots. Faster cooking than pintos and early-maturing too. High-yielding pole. H PC024 Oodham Pink S-wegi mu:n. A pink bean from desert borderlands of Sonora and Arizona. Fast-growing, the plants will sprawl and produce in early spring or late fall in the low desert. H/L PC063 Taos Red Very large, red with darker maroon mottling/striping. Grown under irrigation in Taos Pueblo at 7,500. Rare in the Pueblos, although very similar to the Hopi Red. Low pole, almost bushy, with outstanding dark red mature pods. High-yielding. H PC100 Tarahumara Bakmina Rare. Semi-pole plants produce tiny, burgundy, kidney-shaped seeds with a black ring around the hilum. Pods are quite long and make excellent green beans. H PC034 Tarahumara Chkame Medium-sized shiny black bean from the Sierra Madre of Chihuahua. Pole bean producing lilac flowers and colorful mottled pods. Beans have a distinct earthy flavor. H PC042

Tarahumara Bakmina

Tarahumara Ojo de Cabra

More Bean


Kentucky Blue Combines best qualities of the legendary Blue Lake and Kentucky Wonder Pole. Comes early and produces over a long period, especially if picked daily. 7 pods. Resistant to bean mosaic viruses. Pole bean. Approx. 30g/30 seeds per packet. TS304 Provider Proven over decades to be a consistent producer, even in unpredictable, adverse conditions. Compact plants dependably yield light-green, 5 pods. Resistant to bean mosaic viruses and powdery mildew. Bush bean. Approx. 30g/30 seeds per packet. TS302 Rattlesnake A legend in the Southwest because it survives on summer monsoon rain alone. 7-8 round pods are dark green with purple streaks. Harvest early for very sweet snap beans. Allow to mature for delicious dry beans. Pole bean. Approx. 30g/50 seeds per packet. TS305 Royal Burgundy Easy-to-see, bright burgundy, 5 pods. High yield, low maintenance upright plants that do not require staking. Pick on a daily basis for 2-3 weeks. Expect up to 7 lbs. from a 15 ft. row. Resists beetles. Bush bean. Approx. 30g/50 seeds per packet. TS303


Royal Burgundy


More Common Bean


Tarahumara Ojo de Cabra Goats eye. High-yielding pole bean producing large seeds with dark stripes over a speckled light background. A diverselycolored bean with stripes ranging from brown and tan to blue-gray and black. Occasional red, pinto, or gold beans mixed in. Plants produce white and lilac-white flowers and purple striped pods. A sweet, mild staple of the Sierra Madre. Daylength-sensitive. H PC054 Tarahumara Purple Medium-high yielding pole bean with gorgeous, large, shiny, deep purple seeds. Sweet taste, smooth texture. From central (mountainous) and eastern (high mesa) Tarahumara country in Chihuahua. H PC130 Yoeme Purple String A prolific pole bean that can be eaten green or as shelled. Seeds are purple on beige. Plants are heat tolerant. H/L PC071

Tarahumara Purple

Lima Bean

Phaseolus lunatus


Growing as perennial vines in their native tropical environment, lima beans are broad, flat beans eaten green or dried. Plants are tolerant of salt and alkaline soils. Approx. 20g/25 seeds per packet. Culture: Plant in spring or with summer rains, 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart or in basins. These long-season plants will produce until frost, although production slows in the hot dry months. Trellis vines, or allow room to sprawl. Seedsaving: This annual is mainly self-pollinating. Varieties should be separated by 40 yards (36 meters). Dried pods can be harvested throughout the growing season, or harvest whole plants.

Hopi Red

Hopi Gray Maasi hatiko. The light beige beans can be plain or mottled with black. The seeds are sometimes sprouted and used in ceremonies. May have good resistance to Mexican Bean Beetle. H/L PL080 Hopi Red Pala hatiko. Selected by the late Hopi artist Fred Kabotie, these limas are prolific in the low desert. Tasty and meaty, the beans are solid red, or may be streaked with black. H/L PL009 Hopi White Hatiko. Small, solid white beans. Sprouted and used during spring ceremonies. H PL073 Hopi Yellow Sikya hatiko. Seeds vary from deep yellow to dark orange with black mottling. During spring ceremonies, the seeds are sprouted, attached to katsina dolls, rattles, and bows and given to children. Sprouts are then chopped, boiled and cooked in soup for feasting. H/L PL072 Pima Beige Originally collected from the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona. The light beige beans can be plain or mottled with black. H/L PL010 Pima Orange Wonderfully orange-colored beans with black mottling. A gem from the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona. H/L PL011

Hopi Yellow

Pima Orange



Runner Bean

Phaseolus coccineus


Large and showy flowers make this an attractive garden plant. The large pods can be eaten as green beans or you can use the beans dried. The Tarahumara cook runner beans in masa to produce gordos (fat tortillas). Not suitable for low desert. Approx. 28g/20 seeds per packet. Culture: Plant 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart in the spring after danger of frost is past. Plants can be bush or produce long vines which need to be trellised. Flowers may drop with no pod set if daytime temperatures are too high. Seedsaving: An annual that is insect pollinated, so varieties will cross. Harvest dried pods throughout the growing season.

Aztec White

Aztec White White-flowered variety that produces large, white seeds. Fastmaturing. H PS003

Tarahumara Bordal

Tarahumara Bordal Large white beans from the remote Tarahumara community of Otachique in Chihuahua. H PS007

Tepary Bean

Phaseolus acutifolius


Cultivated in the Southwest since ancient times, teparies mature quickly and are tolerant of the low desert heat, aridity and alkaline soils. Tepary beans track the sun, allowing them to grow faster and beat the drought. They can produce a crop in just 60 days. Soak the dried beans before cooking. Approx. 7g/50 seeds per packet. Culture: Plant seeds 1/2 inch deep and 4 inches apart with the summer rains. If rains are sparse, irrigate when the plants look stressed. Teparies do not tolerate overwatering. Seedsaving: A self-pollinating annual. Harvest pods as they dry. Be careful: mature pods will pop open and drop seeds if left on the plant. An alternative is to harvest the whole plants when pods are turning brown, allow them to dry on a sheet, then thresh and winnow seeds.

Blue Speckled

Paiute Yellow

Big Fields White From the Tohono Oodham village of Big Fields where an Oodham farmer maintained this white variety for years. It is rarely found under cultivation anymore. H/L PT109 Black NS/S member Bruce Bailey originally selected these from white teparies purchased many years ago in a Tucson Mexican market. Similar to a historic Tohono Oodham and Yuma variety. L PT082 Blue Speckled Beautiful tan beans with navy blue speckles. From highland areas of southern Mexico, this variety is a Mayan folkrace. Does not tolerate low desert heat. H PT079


More Tepary Bean


Brown Speckled Very round beans with beige speckles on light gray. Originally separated out of Blue Speckled. High yielding. Does not tolerate low desert heat. H PT089 Cocopah Brown Early-maturing, medium-sized, flattened orange-tan and orange-speckled beans originating from along the lower Colorado River in Sonora. H/L PT107 Colonia Morelos Speckled Colorful assortment of brown, black, beige, yellow, and tan speckles on a tan background as well as gray-black speckles on medium-sized flattened beans. Early-maturing with white and lilac flowers. Originally collected in Colonia Morelos, Sonora. H/L PT118 Paiute Mixed Beautiful mixture of colors including chocolate brown, speckled tan and burnt orange. Originating from the Shivwits Paiute Reservation in Utah. Early-maturing, medium-sized bean. H/L PT099 Paiute White From the Kaibab Indian Reservation in southern Utah. Grown near the Santa Clara River. H/L PT084 Paiute Yellow Ochre-colored traditional favorite from the Kaibab Indian Reservation in southern Utah. H/L PT085 Pinacate These beans are tan and slightly mottled. Originally obtained from the most arid runoff farm in Mexico, the Sierra El Pinacate Protected Zone. They have been known to produce a crop from a single storm runoff. L PT074 Sacaton Brown Soam bawi. Medium-sized orange-tan seeds. Early-maturing. Once commercially cultivated by the Gila River Pima near Sacaton, Arizona. H/L PT004 Sacaton White Early-maturing, white rounded beans. Originally collected in 1976 from the Gila River Reservation and vicinity. H/L PT005 Santa Rosa White An old collection from the Tohono Oodham village of Santa Rosa. White seeds. Drought-hardy. H/L PT111 Tohono Oodham Brown Medium-sized tan-brown beans from the Tohono Oodham Reservation. Early-maturing. H/L PT075 Tohono Oodham White Early-maturing white beans from the Tohono Oodham Reservation. Early-maturing. H/L PT116

Tohono Oodham Brown

Tohono Oodham White

Tepary Chili
1 c dried tepary beans, rinsed and drained 2 tsp vegetable oil 1 small onion, chopped 1 small red bell pepper, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced tsp each of cumin, lemon, basil, and salt tsp Mexican oregano 2 tomatoes, chopped 1 chipotle chile (smoked jalapeo) optional In a large pan cover beans with 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and stir. Cover and let sit 1 hour, stir, then simmer covered 2-3 hours until cooked. Saut onion, bell pepper, and garlic in oil until tender. Add to beans along with remaining ingredients. Simmer covered 1 hour.

Bean Common Mosaic Virus

Bean Common Mosaic Virus (BCMV) is a plant disease that can affect all New World beans (Phaseolus spp.), including common beans, tepary beans, lima beans, and scarlet runner beans. It is not harmful to humans or other animals, but can cause decreased yield or death in beans. Tepary beans may be carriers of BCMV, as they tolerate the disease with only minor symptoms if grown in arid regions. Because teparies may carry BCMV, do not grow teparies near other species of beans that are more susceptible to the virus especially those to be saved for seed. Signs of the virus include stunted plants, downward curling and puckering of leaves, and yellow-green mottling of leaves. BCMV is a seed-borne disease, and seeds saved from infected plants can pass the virus on to future crops. Healthy plants can be infected by aphids spreading the virus from diseased to healthy plants, by infected leaves touching healthy ones, or by gardeners handling healthy plants after working with diseased plants. Diseased plants should be carefully rogued (removed) and discarded.


Chile Capsicum annuum


One of the great Native American contributions to the cuisines of the world. A widely used fruit high in Vitamin C, chiles vary in shape, size, color, pungency and flavor. Approx. 0.1g/25 seeds per packet. Culture: Start seeds inside 8-10 weeks before last frost. Seeds are slow to germinate and need warmth. Sow 1/4 inch deep in sandy soil. Transplant seedlings 12-16 inches apart. Seedsaving: The insect-visited flowers can self-pollinate or cross. Grow only one variety at a time, or isolate flowers by covering branches with cloth bags tied loosely at the bottom, or cover plants with cages made from window screen over a frame. Allow pods to ripen and mature on the plant. Chiles turn red or dark brown when mature. For best seed results, pods should be shriveled and almost dry. Wear gloves, and take care not to touch your eyes when removing seeds from hot chiles. Letters at the end of descriptions refer to the key (left). All shapes in the key may not be currently available.

Alcalde A native chile from northern New Mexico at 6,300. Relatively earlymaturing. Mild-medium heat, with a complex, slightly sweet flavor when red. 4 long. (i) H D054


Casados Native A local Spanish heirloom collected in El Guique, New Mexico (5,500). Medium-hot. 3-5 long. (i) H D029 Chimayo From the farming town in northern New Mexico at 5,900 famous for its local chile. Relatively early-maturing. Mild. 3.5-5 long. (i) H D018 Cochiti Originally collected at Cochiti Pueblo (5,200), where loss of farmland has threatened this and other Cochiti crop varieties. Sweet when green and flavorful when mature. Mild to medium. 3.5-4 long. (i) H D021 Del Arbol Tree chile. Long, thin and red, this hot, pungent salsa chile is from Chihuahua. 2.5-4 long. (d, c) H/L D001

Escondida From Escondida, New Mexico at 5,000. This native chile is slow to heat in the mouth. Sweet and medium to hot. 3.5 long.(I, j) H/L D032 Isleta An exceptionally tasty native chile from Isleta Pueblo (4,900). Broader shoulders and less fleshy than Isleta Long. Mild-medium heat. 4-5 long. (i) H D015 Jemez Grown in Jemez Pueblo in northern New Mexico along the Rio Jemez, a tributary of the Rio Grande. Relatively early-maturing. Medium heat. 3-4.5 long. (i) H D019

Del Arbol

Kori Sitakame Red chile. Collected in Norogachi, a Tarahumara pueblo nestled in the mountains of Chihuahua. Relatively thin-walled and smoothskinned triangular fruit, which look almost translucent when dry. Will produce in the low desert with shade and care, but does better the second year if over-wintered. Sweet and medium to hot, increasing after a few seconds. 3.5 long. (j) H/L D033


More Chile


Mirasol Looking at the sun, yet these chiles from southern Chihuahua hang down on the branches. This chile is called guajillo when dry. Used in soups, stews, and chicken dishes. Mild to medium. 1 wide and 5 long. (g) H/L D005 Nambe Supreme From Nambe Pueblo in New Mexico (6,000). A farmer in the Pueblo selected this cross between native and commercial varieties. Smooth-skinned and slightly triangular. Slightly sweet when red, with medium heat. 5.5 long. (j) H D058 Negro A sweet and flavorful chile from Chihuahua. Usually black or rich brown, but may contain an occasional plant bearing red or differently-shaped fruit. Medium heat. 6 long. (j) H/L D002 Negro de Valle First collected in 2000 north of Buenaventura on the plains of Chihuahua. Similar to Vallero, but contains only the darker native, old type chile. Some cooks select only these dark brown chiles to make the best chile colorado. Medium heat. 6 long. (j) H/L D052 Ordoo A stunning ornamental chile from Batopilas Canyon, Chihuahua. The upright fruit mature from purple through yellow, orange, and finally red. Heat and drought tolerant and very prolific. Good for container gardening. Hot and edible. 2-3 long. (f ) H/L D009 Patagonia An Hispanic heirloom grown in Patagonia, Arizona. The coneshaped chiles stand up on the plants, and are yellow with some purple mottling, ripening to orange then red. Used to make a thin hot sauce by blending with vinegar. Medium-hot. 1 long. (f ) H D059 Pico de Gallo Roosters Beak. A very prolific and slender narrow-leafed salsa chile from Sonora. Very hot. 3 long. (d) H/L D003

Negro de Valle

Pico de Gallo


How We Rated Chiles

We grew 59 chile accessions at the NS/S Conservation Farm in 2001. As a result, we were able to gather information such as chile size, maturity, and relative heat ratings for each accession. In using our descriptions, please keep in mind that they are relative ratings, and were influenced by the specific environmental conditions (water, temperature, nutrients, stress) characterizing the Conservation Farm (i.e., they might mature quicker or later, grow smaller or larger fruit, or be milder or spicier under your care and conditions than ours). In the following descriptions, mild,medium, and hot are relative heat ratings, while sweet refers to a sugary taste. These are all chiles, however, and even those listed as mild may burn the mouth of a non-chile eater. Additionally, individual fruit may vary in heat, and our tasters sampled only a few of each. Thanks to the extended Valds family for their help in preparing and tasting chiles, and for showing restraint in order to test all 59 of them! All varieties were tested mature, and blended whole with water to form a paste. Larger-fruited varieties, amenable to roasting and peeling, were tested as chile verde as well. Fruit are red when mature unless otherwise noted. Average length and a letter corresponding to their general shape follow each description.



More Chile


Pico de Pajaro Birds beak. From Yecora, Sonora. The knobby fruit are often curved. Mild heat. Almost 1 wide and 5-5.5 long. (a) H/L D051 San Felipe Planted in mid-May and grown with irrigation along the Rio Grande in San Felipe Pueblo in northern New Mexico. Medium hot. 5 long. (i) H D007 San Juan Tsil A native New Mexican chile still grown by elder farmers in San Juan Pueblo north of Espaola. Flavorful and relatively early-maturing. Mild to medium-hot. 3.5-5 long. (i) H D024 Sandia Collected in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where it is used for rellenos, enchilada sauces and stews. Hot. 6-9 long. (j) H D004 Santo Domingo Originally from Santo Domingo Pueblo in northern New Mexico (5,200), these chiles are traditionally strung into ristras for drying, then rehydrated or ground. Relatively early-maturing. Hot. 3.5-5 long. (i) H D017


Wenks Yellow Hots

Sinahuisa From a Mayo ejido (communal farm) in Sonora. The fruit are very fleshy and similar to serranos. Good for container gardening. Hot. 1.5 long. (e) H/L D006 Tabasco C. frutescens. Hot, prolific, and hardy, this is the famous ingredient in Tabasco sauce. Narrow 1 fruits are yellow or orange maturing to red. Good for container gardening. (c) L DF001 Tarahumara Chile Colorado An elongated poblano-shaped chile from southern Chihuahua. Very shiny when green. Mild heat. 1.5 wide at shoulders and 3.5-4 long. (k) H D053 Vallero Originally from the lovely, productive Buenaventura Valley in Chihuahua. Used by the favorite chile colorado restaurant of NS/S co-founders Barney and Mahina. Fleshy when green, rich brownish-black to reddishbrown when mature. Medium heat, but can vary. 6 long. (j) H/L D020 Wenks Yellow Hots Selected by one of the last large truck farmers in Albuquerques South Valley. Very fleshy and excellent en escabeche. Incredibly prolific. Waxy yellow fruit have a pronounced (and very tasty) orange phase before turning red. Medium-hot to very hot. 1.5 wide, 3 long. (h) H/L D030

More Chile Pepper

prices as listed

California Wonder Bell An exceptional strain of this treasured heirloom bell pepper from the 1920s. Vigorous, 24-48 plants produce thick-walled, blocky 4 green fruits which turn red if allowed to mature fully. Approx. 0.25g/70 seeds per packet. $2.45 TS325 Gypsy Bell Unusual for its early production and high yield in a wide range of conditions. Expect a rainbow of colors from yellow-green to orange-red in mature fruits. 60 Days $2.95 TS326

California Wonder


Chiltepin Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum


The wild relative of most cultivated chiles, chiltepines are native to North America and can still be found growing in canyons in southern Arizona and northern Mexico. Chiltepines are attractive perennial landscape plants for shady to filtered light areas in the low desert. They will freeze back in the winter. The pea-sized fruits are very hot. Approx. 0.3g/25 seeds per packet. Culture: Chiltepines can be grown in containers and protected through the winter months. Start seeds inside 8-10 weeks before last frost. Seeds are slow to germinate and need warmth. Sow 1/4 inch deep in sandy soil. Transplant seedlings 12-16 inches apart. Seed Saving: Protect mature fruit from birds mockingbirds love chiltepines! The insect-visited flowers can self-pollinate or cross. Grow only one variety at a time, or isolate flowers by covering branches with cloth bags tied loosely at the bottom, or cover plants with cages made from window screen over a frame. Allow fruit to ripen and mature on the plant. Most chiltepines turn red when mature. For best seed results, fruit should be shriveled and almost dry. Wear gloves, and take care not to touch your eyes when removing seeds from chiltepines.

Hermosillo Select

South Texas Chile Piquin

Hermosillo Select A large-fruited variety selected by Alfredo Noriego in Hermosillo, Sonora. The fruit are slightly elongated and 0.5 long. Somewhat less drought-tolerant than many other chiltepines. H/L DC023 South Texas Chile Piquin Originally collected along the Lower Rio Grande Valley near McAllen, Texas. Plants have naturalized in the brush along cultivated fields. Fruit are slightly elongated. H/L DC027 Texas From Wimberley, Texas, on the Edwards Plateau, west of Austin. Fruit are somewhat elongated. H/L DC012


Mother Chiltepin
For at least 8,000 years, humans have spiced their food with chiles. The tiny wild chiles we call chiltepines are the closest living relatives of the earliest form of domesticated Capsicum annuum chiles. When we hold this round chile and feel its smooth skin, smell its rich chile fragrance, we join with ancient people who also picked and ate wild chiles. To grow chiltepines successfully at home, its important to understand how it grows in the wild. Chiltepin seeds should not be sown directly in the ground under full sun like other domesticated chiles. Plant your chiltepin seed or seedling under a nurse plant, or plant them in pots, which allows you to move the plant as needed. Keep the chiles moist, but dont overwater as chiltepines have not evolved with regular irrigation. Whether you harvest in the wild or in your own yard, its best to pick the chiles in their green, unripe stage or wait until the fruit is fully mature and bright red. If you harvest them during the in between period, they will spoil. Just like our friends in Mexico, you can dry the fruit on a screen or cloth out of direct sunlight. When you harvest, do so with a sense of reverence and respect for the plant. Be present. Feel the chiles. Smell them. Taste them right off the plant. Savor the connection you have to all the wild chile plants and harvesters before you. Adapted from an article by Linda McKittrick in Native Seeds/SEARCHs Seedhead News, Issue 104 (Fall/Winter 2009). Please visit to read the full article.




Zea mays

Domesticated by Meso-Americans along the Rio Balsas of Mexico by at least 6700 B.C., corn is a staple food and has many ritual uses. Various kernel colors are selected for ceremonies and feast foods, and pollen is collected for ceremonial and medicinal purposes. Culture: In early spring just before last frost, or with summer rains in the low desert, plant seeds 1 inch deep in rows, clumps, or basins. If saving seeds, a minimum of 100 plants is desirable to maintain genetic diversity. Corn needs rich soil and moisture to produce a crop. Drought stress, high winds, heat and low humidity can all reduce pollination. Seedsaving: An annual, corn is wind pollinated, and all varieties will cross easily. A distance of at least 1 mile or staggered planting times is necessary to keep seeds pure. Hand pollinating can ensure full ears of kernels. Allow ears to mature on the plant; check for ear worms to prevent damage. Ideally, ears should be field dried before harvesting. However, sweet corns allowed to dry on the stalk during high temperatures can ferment, ruining the seed. Dry seeds thoroughly before storing. For long-term storage, we recommend storing whole ears. Mayo Batchi

Dia de San Juan

Dent Corn


Mature kernels are dented due to flour heart and flint sides. Used for elote (roasted), tamales, tortillas, corn beer & animal feed. Approx. 15g/50 seeds per packet. Mayo Tuxpeo
Dia de San Juan An all-purpose white corn used by the Mayo for everything. From north of Alamos, Sonora. Planted on the Dia de San Juan (June 24) when Southwestern folks traditionally celebrate the coming of the summer rains. H/L ZD084 Mayo Batchi A desert staple of Sonoras Mayo River heartland. The short fat ears have clear white/yellow kernels with some red cobs. Dry-farmed. H/L ZD081 Mayo Tuxpeo Originally collected in Saneal, Sonora. Large fat ears on 1012 tall plants with yellow, blue and yellow, or pink ears. H/L ZD083

Homer Owens Enduring Gift

Since Native Seeds/SEARCH began almost 30 years ago, some truly inspiring stories have come our way. These almost mythic tales of stalwart seed-savers and their priceless collections are perhaps just as important to preserve as the seeds themselves. One such tale that is central to Native Seeds/SEARCHs history is of Arizona seed-saver Homer Owens. In 1986, Homer shipped our fledgling seed bank a box containing 30 jars of rare and otherwise unknown corn and bean seeds collected over the last century from Indian communities throughout Arizona. It was an astonishing find! The story of how he came by these seeds is classic seed-saver lore. As a child, he became friends with a part-Comanche prospector, much older than himself, who passed on a collection of Arizona-based Native American crop seeds to the nine-year-old Homer. The seeds had long been his own charge of responsibility, entrusted to him by another seed-saver decades earlier.


Flour Corn


Soft grinding corn used for cornmeal, elote (roasting corn or fresh tamale corn) and hominy (masa or nixtamal). Approx. 14g/50 seeds per packet.
Escondida Blue Dark to light blue kernels on medium-sized ears. From Escondida in south central New Mexico. H ZF139 Guarijio Maiz Azul A unique blue corn with kernels ranging from light blue to deep blue to lavender and purple on thick cobs. Prominent denting. Grown at lower elevations than most maiz azul races. H/L ZF039 Hopi Greasy Head Wekte. Often planted early by Hopi farmers so the harvest can be used for the Home Dance ceremony in July. Plum-colored kernels on 10-12 ears. H/L ZF051 Mayo Tosabatchi Blando de Sonora landrace from Sinaloa. The white kernels are ground to make a soft flour/meal for cookies. 70-75 days for elote; 90 days for dry. H/L ZF009 Navajo White Small kernels on slender ears of this dry-farmed corn. H ZF014 Santo Domingo Blue Large ears with deep blue kernels. From Santo Domingo Pueblo. H ZF054 Taos Blue Deep blue kernels on medium-sized ears. From Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. H ZF034 Tarahumara Blando de Sonora One of the mainstays of Tarahumara corn production, used for making tamales (in milk stage) or ground for flour. Large ears with large white kernels. H/L ZF018 Tarahumara Maiz Azul Large blue-black (and some white) kernels on medium large ears. This corn is widely used in the barrancas of the Sierra Madre. Used to make tortillas and tamales during first harvest ceremonies. H/L ZF021 Tohono Oodham 60-Day Extremely fast-maturing desert-adapted corn traditionally grown by the Tohono Oodham with the summer rains in floodwater fields. Short (6-10) ears with white kernels on short plant stalks. H/L ZF016

Hopi Greasy Head

Mayo Tosabatchi

Taos Blue

Tohono Oodham 60-Day

Over the years, Homer preserved the seeds by growing out the corn and saving seed, even segregating the crops to reduce cross-pollination. Through his travels, he occasionally came across other unique strains of corn and beans, adding them to the collection. The lifelong project eventually became a family affair as his wife and children began helping to grow and save new seed. When Homer Owens presented his collection to NS/S after 40 years of stewardship, the torch was passed once again. Thanks to his extraordinary commitment, these heirloom seeds live on in the Native Seeds/SEARCH collection and in the soil of native tribes and gardeners around the world. We are fortunate to be able to offer one variety from Homer Owenss collection here: Yuman Yellow sweet corn (ZS112). We expect to be able to offer more sweet corn varieties from his collection on our website sometime in 2012.



Flour/Flint Corn


These kernels may be of either a hard, flinty texture or soft and floury. When dry, flints generally store better and have greater resistance to insect damage. Approx. 18g/50 seeds per packet.
Gila Pima A:al Hu:n Cream-colored and clear kernels on smallish cobs. Matures quickly and with minimal irrigation. From the Gila River Pima Reservation in central Arizona. H/L ZL060

Gila Pima

Guarijio Maiz Amarillo Collected from a Guarijio farmer in Sonora. A dryfarmed, semi-flint corn with yellow and some white kernels. Used for tamales, atole, pinole and as elote. Plants grow over 8 tall. H/L ZT045 Jicarilla Apache Concho Pearl white kernels on 6-8 ears; 3-5 stalks tolerant of cool, high elevations. Approximately 75-80 days from planting to dry seed. H/L ZL134 Santo Domingo Posole Large white, flat kernels used for posole (hominy). Grown in the pueblo in northern New Mexico. Hefty ears. H ZL126

Tarahumara Maiz Colorado

Tarahumara Apachito One of the most common types of corn grown by the Tarahumara. Kernels are typically a pearly light pink to dark rose and occasionally pearly white or yellow. H ZT033 Tarahumara Maiz Colorado A beautiful corn with a mix of blue, white, purple and red kernels on the same cob or as single-colored cobs. Mostly flour with some flinty kernels. From a remote location in the Sierra Tarahumara. H ZL081 Tarahumara Serape This Cristalino de Chihuahua land race has beautiful long slender ears with pearly white, red or striped kernels. H ZT044

Tarahumara Serape



Used for pinole (toasted and ground) and as popped corn. Popcorns are flint corns. Approx. 10g/50 seeds per packet.
Mayo Yellow Chapalote A flinty, yellow corn often ground and used to make an especially flavorful pinole. From the remote Rancho Camacho, near Piedras Verdes. H/L ZP094 Palomero de Chihuhua White pointy kernels on small cobs typical of many popcorns. H ZP099 Reventador Old-fashioned pinole corn with translucent white kernels. Once grown in Arizona with irrigation. Obtained from central Sonora, Mexico. A good, hardy, crunchy popcorn when popped. H/L ZP092 Tarahumara From the bottom of Copper Canyon in Chihuahua. The large, flinty, pale yellow kernels are produced on thin, slender cobs reminiscent of reventador, referring to the popping nature of the corn. Ground and used for pinole or popped. H/L ZP101




More Southwest indigenous seeds are available at

Sweet Corn


Used for pinole, roasted and reconstituted, or fresh boiled. Kernel colors develop when the corn is past milk stage. Approx. 10g/50 seeds per packet. $4.95
Guarijio Sweet Produces cobs with yellow or burnt-orange kernels. Plant with summer rains in the low desert. Plants are 6-8 tall. H/L ZS142 Hopi Sweet Tawaktchi. Small white ears. Harvested in the mild stage, it is dry-roasted in a pit oven and then rehydrated when ready to use. Very short plants. Rapidly maturing and very prolific. H/L ZS101 Yuman Yellow From an extensive collection made by an early prospector. Yellow kernels on small ears. Originally grown by the Yuman (Quechan) Indians along the lower Colorado River. L ZS112

Guarijio Sweet

Yuman Yellow

Teosinte Zea mays ssp. mexicana


Teosinte is the wild progenitor of modern corn. Native to Mexico, wild Zea species are shortening-day plants: flowering is initiated as day length begins to shorten in the fall. Plants produce tassels and small spikelets of seeds. Approx. 1.5g/25 seeds per packet. Culture: Seeds have hard seed coats, which need to be scarified (soaked, filed or sanded) so water can be absorbed. Plant as corn. Seedsaving: Plants will not flower until fall, making it difficult to harvest mature seeds unless you have a late frost or frost-free environment. Northern Tepehuan Maizillo Annual

Northern Tepehuan Maizillo Annual Found in Nabogame, southern Chihuahua, where the plants begin to flower in September. Native farmers say growing this near-cultivated corn makes their crops stronger. Native wild stands are prolific producers of seed. Plants tend to tiller more in the northern U.S. Green stems are chewed for the sweet juices. H Z121

Elevation Guidelines for Seeds

General guidelines have been developed for both low desert (<3,500, marked by an L in seed descriptions) and high desert (>3,500, marked by an H) conditions, based on our experience in Tucson and at the Conservation Farm (4,000). Please keep in mind that these are only guidelines. We encourage you to try all different kinds of seeds at all different elevations, bioregions and microclimates. In the low desert, summer rains come in July or early August, summer temperatures regularly exceed 100F and remain high during the night, and planting for the cool season can be anytime from September to November. In the high desert, summer rains can begin in June, summer temperatures often reach 100F but cool off considerably during the night, and planting for the cool season usually begins in February. For warm weather crops, the low desert has eight frost-free months, which include extremely hot and dry conditions. The Conservation Farm sits in a cold air drainage and has about six frost-free months. Gardeners in other climates will need to adjust their planting times. It is helpful to know your average last frost dates; ask experienced gardeners or the agricultural extension agent in your area.



Cotton Gossypium spp.


Cultivated since ancient times, people have utilized the lint for spinning and weaving. In frost free areas, cotton can be a perennial shrub or small tree. Approx. 2g/20 seeds per packet. Culture: Plant in spring after last frost, 1/2 inch deep, 12 inches apart. Wild cotton seeds need to be presoaked or scarified. Plants need a long season for bolls to mature. Hopi Short Staple Seedsaving: An annual, mainly self-pollinating but with large showy flowers that attract insects which will cross varieties. Harvest dried pods as they mature. Remove bad seeds and cotton fiber before storing.

Cotton seeds can only be shipped to AZ, NM, TX and OK addresses.

Hopi Short Staple G. hirsutum var. punctatum. Originating in Central America and traded north, this variety was prehistorically grown by the Hopi. It has a short growing season (100 days). Our original seed came from a USDA research geneticist. H/L H001

Sacaton Aboriginal

Sacaton Aboriginal G. hirsutum var. punctatum. Grown by the Pimans for food and fiber until 1900. Padre Kino noted its use for weaving into clothing and blankets. This variety, related to Hopi cotton, was maintained by the Field Station in Sacaton, Arizona, for many years under the name Sacaton Aboriginal. Pimans planted cotton when the mesquite began to leaf out. H/L H002

Seed School
Seed School was developed to fill in the missing link in the creation of a sustainable agricultural system. This innovative six-day educational program held at the Native Seeds/SEARCH Conservation Center in Tucson, Arizona, guides students through the history, science, business and craft of seeds. Participants walk away with enough inspiration and practical knowledge to build new models of regional seed production and distribution. Seed School now focuses on other agricultural specialties such as heritage grains (Grain School) as well as innovations in seed libraries (Seed Library School). Seed Keepers is a collaborative new Seed School created with Native communities. Visit our website to register and learn more about these groundbreaking educational opportunities.

Seed School 2012

March 49 April 1214 Seed Library School June 16, 23, 30, July 7 & 14 (Saturdays) Oct 28 Nov 2 (Phoenix)


Cowpea Vigna unguiculata


An introduced legume from Africa that tolerates high heat and drought a good producer in the low, hot desert. Peas can be eaten green (immature) or dry. Also known as black-eyed peas, Southern peas, or crowders. Approx. 5g/25 seeds per packet. Culture: Plant 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart, or in basins, in the spring or with summer rains. Plants sprawl. Seedsaving: An annual that is mainly self-pollinating but will cross with other cowpea varieties. Dried pods should be harvested throughout the growing season. Mature pods will split open if left on the plant.

Bisbee Black

Bisbee Black Original seeds came from a Native American in Bisbee, Arizona, who gave them to a truck driver, who passed them on to an NS/S member in Missouri. Solid black seeds, a good producer in the low desert. H/L V001 Bisbee Red Same story as Bisbee Black. Does well in the low desert, producing long pods with dark red seeds. H/L V002 Cerocahui A typical-looking black-eyed pea, the seeds are cream with a black eye. From Cerocahui in the Barranca del Cobre. H V018 Corrientes Collected in Nayarit, Mexico. Extrememly hardy and prolific, with dark red seeds. Excellent as green beans or shelled. H/L V013 Mayo Colima Pinto A dry-farmed staple in the traditional Mayo village of Los Capomos, Sinaloa. Seeds are mottled cream, brown and gray. L V010 Mayo Speckled The pinto-bean of cowpeas! A colima variety with pinto bean mottling over light chocolate-covered seeds. From Los Capomos, Sinaloa. H/L V015 Pima Bajo Tukwupoikam (Black eyes it has ). Originally collected from the Pima Bajo living near the Rio Yaqui in Onavas, Sonora. The small white beans have black and brown eyes. H/L V009 Sonoran Yori Muni From the Rio Mayo watershed in Sonora, Mexico. A small white bean with chocolate brown eyes. H/L V004 Texas The color of red sandstone, this cowpea is from the Eagle Pass area of Texas. They were described as a heat-tolerant pole bean with superior flavor. H/L V020 Tohono Oodham Uus mu:n. A gorgeous black and white bean with variable mottling, may be all black (occasionally brown) or splotched on white. Excellent for green beans in the low desert. H/L V006 Yori Cahui Collected from the village of Ahome, near Los Mochis in Sinaloa. Our demonstration garden growout produced lots of yard long beans that thrived in our record-breaking heat. Great low desert green bean. H/L V014

Bisbee Red

Pima Bajo

Tohono Oodham

More Southwest indigenous seeds are available at

Yori Cahui



Devils Claw Proboscidea spp.


Cultivated by many Southwest tribes, the seed is rich in oil and protein. The black fiber of the fruit or claw is used in basketry. Dried seeds can be peeled and eaten, and are sometimes used to polish ollas. The young fruits, when still tender, can be cooked as an okra-like vegetable. Very heat tolerant, the flowers and summer foliage make these attractive landscape plants. Approx. 1.5g/25 seeds per packet. Eagle Creek Culture: Presoak seeds for better germination. Plant with summer rains, 1/2 inch deep, and allow 2-4 feet between plants. Plants respond to hot, humid conditions of the summer monsoons. Seedsaving: Varieties of this insect-pollinated annual will cross. Allow pods to dry and mature on the plant. Harvest the claws when they begin to open. Seeds can be removed with long, blunt needles, ice picks or pliers; be careful not to get poked by the razor-sharp claws.


Eagle Creek P. parviflora var. parviflora. Grown out from a single claw found by hikers at the Eagle Creek/Gila River confluence. Medium-length claws, white seeds. H/L R009 Paiute P. parviflora var. hohokamiana. A white-seeded domesticated variety grown on the Shivwits Paiute Reservation in southwest Utah. H/L R005 San Carlos Apache Domesticated P. parviflora var. hohokamiana. Moderatesized claws and white seeds. Collected from plants growing in fields of blue corn. The claws are typically used in basketry. H/L R016

Tohono Oodham Domesticated

Tohono Oodham Domesticated P. parviflora var. hohokamiana. I:hug (ee hook ). Selected by basketmakers for the extremely long claws (up to 15). Claws saved for basketry are sometimes buried to keep the black color from fading. White seeds. H/L R004

Join Native Seeds/SEARCH every third Monday of the month at our Retail Store in Tucson (3061 N. Campbell Road) from 5:30 7:30 pm for our NS/S Salons. These engaging community events have a little bit of something for anyone who has ever wielded a fork or pitchfork. Bring your juiciest ideas and an appetite for mind-watering conversations. Admission is free. Pat Foreman, author of City Chicks at a Native Seeds/SEARCH Salon

Not seeing an old standby? Try



Lagenaria siceraria


The earliest-known domesticated plant. The dried fruit is used for ladles, rattles, canteens or containers, as well as musical instruments. Can be carved, wood burned, painted or pierced. Approx. 2.5g/15 seeds per packet. Culture: Sow seeds 1 inch deep in the warm spring (presoak for better germination). Plants make long climbing vines, so allow plenty of room. Plant next to a fence or trellis, or in basins under a tree. Requires plenty of water throughout the long growing season. Seedsaving: Annual. All varieties will cross-pollinate, so if a certain shape is desired plant only those pure seeds. The night-blooming white flowers are pollinated by moths and bees. Fruits should mature on the plant until the stems are brown and the fruit lightweight, or until frost. Dry until the gourds are beige and the seed can be loosened by shaking or lightly tapping. Drill holes or saw open the fruit to remove seeds. Pebbles added through drill holes may help loosen the seeds. Winnow to remove chaff. Letters at the end of descriptions refer to the key (above). All shapes in the key may not be currently available. Hopi Rattle
Hernandez Dipper From Hernandez, New Mexico, these gourds have long handles and somewhat elongated bases. H M064 Hopi Rattle Tawiya. Flat-bulbed ceremonial dance rattle of the Hopi. Large ones may also be used to make womens rasp instruments for Home Dance. (h) H/L M022 Mayo Warty Bule Grown in Piedras Verdes, Sonora. Unique gourds, used for canteens or water jugs, have warts or pebble-like knobby growths around the bulbs. (f ) L M028 Mayo Gooseneck Grown on the mountain slopes south of Alamos, Sonora. Fruits have small upper chamber, a narrow neck and a round bottom with a large nipple on the flower end. (b) L M025 Oodham Dipper This was our first dipper gourd collection made in 1982 at Topawa on the Tohono Oodham Nation. Gourds vary from 8 to 18 long. (g) H/L M020 San Juan Dipper Originally collected in San Juan Pueblo in 1998. The gourds are typical dippers with long necks and rounded to slightly oblong bases.H M052 San Juan Mix A mixture of dipper, teardrop, canteen and banana-shaped gourds. From San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico. H M056 Tarahumara Small Bule Small, rough-shaped gourds. Can be used for small hand rattles and as tobacco containers. H/L M047 Tepehuan Canteen Teardrop-shaped fruits originally collected at Santa Rosalia, Chihuahua, a Tepehuan village in a remote area of the Sierra Madre. (d) H/L M034

Mayo Warty Bule

Oodham Dipper

San Juan Mix





Greens are an excellent source of vitamins, calcium and iron. Originally gathered from the wild, they will readily self-seed and can give urban gardeners plenty of potherbs. See listing for packet size. Culture: The small seeds should be broadcast or raked in. Seedsaving: These annuals are insect pollinated; do not grow different varieties of the same species if saving seed. Seed pods form along the flower stalk. Allow to mature and dry before harvesting. Place dried seed heads in a paper or cloth sack, strip off seeds, and winnow out chaff.

Mostaza Roja

Mostaza Roja Brassica sp. Mequasare. A wild mustard with tender, mildflavored leaves. Use in salads or as cooked greens. Plant in fall in the low desert. Approx. 0.2g/100 seeds per packet. H/L GR008 Orach Atriplex hortensis. Also known as mountain or wild spinach. Cultivated in northern New Mexico and used as a summer green. Plants grow 2-5 tall. Leaves are good raw or cooked. Originally collected growing wild at Taos Pueblo. A good volunteer plant. Approx. 1g/100 seeds per packet. H GR006


Please see the Tucson Seed section later in this catalog for more options of edible greens including arugula, cabbage, kale, lettuce, radicchio, spinach, and Swiss chard.



Some of these herbs are native, while others were introduced by the Spanish. The flavors are distinct additions to regional dishes, and their healing properties are known to local peoples. They can be grown in containers as well as gardens. See listing for packet size. Culture: Except where noted, plant seed with the summer rains about 1/4 inch deep. Corrales Azafrn Seedsaving: Herbs are insect pollinated so members of the same species will cross. Harvest dried seed stalks, and hang upside down for complete drying. Crush to remove seeds, and winnow off chaff.

Corrales Azafrn Carthamus tinctorius. This red/orange thistle-like flower is used in cooking as a saffron subsitute. A sunflower relative, azafrn can be grown as an annual flower and keeps well as a dry flower (though very prickly). Collected in Corrales, New Mexico. Approx. 1g/25 seeds per packet. H HB014

Desert Chia
Desert Chia Salvia columbariae. Seeds have high protein and oil content. When soaked in water, the seeds make a high fiber mucilage of medicinal value. Used as a refreshing drink by the Tohono Oodham. Can be used to gel fruit salad and to thicken salad dressings. Approx. 0.2g/100 seeds per packet. H/L HB002


More Herbs


Guarijio Conivari Hyptis suaveolens. A cooling drink is made from the gelled, chia-like seed which has high-fiber mucilage. Mayo Indians use it for an eye remedy and to control diarrhea. For summer gardens. Approx. 0.3g/50 seeds per packet. H/L HB008 Mayo/Yoeme Basil Ocimum basilicum. A strong-smelling medicinal herb commonly grown in Sonora. Good for cooking and flavoring vinegars and oils. The white and pink flowers make it an attractive garden plant. Plant in spring and summer. Approx. 0.2g/50 seeds per packet. H/L HB004

Mayo/Yoeme Basil
Mrs. Burns Famous Lemon Basil Ocimum basilicum. This variety has been grown for 60 years in southeastern New Mexico. It is an Old World introduction and readily self-seeds. Great lemon flavor. Plant in spring and summer. Heat and drought tolerant. Approx. 0.2g/50 seeds per packet. H/L HB003 Swain Heirloom Dill Anethum graveolens. This dill may have arrived in Paradox Valley, Colorado, with immigrants from England who homesteaded the area. Good for pickling. Freely seeding, once you plant it youre likely to always have it in your garden. Large aromatic heads. Approx.. 0.2g/200 seeds per packet. H HB016 Tarahumara Chia Salvia tiliafolia. A native plant from southeastern Arizona to South America. The cute flowers and foliage make it an attractive landscape plant for summer gardens. Gathered and used medicinally by the Tarahumara. Approx. 0.2g/50 seeds per packet. H/L HB007 Yoeme Alvaaka Basil Ocimum basilicum. A small seed sample was collected from a woman at New Pascua who uses the foliage to make a tea which is good for the stomach and as a general tonic. The plants have a strong licorice aroma. Plant in spring and summer. Approx. 0.2g/50 seeds per packet. H/L HB013

Mrs. Burns Famous Lemon Basil

Tarahumara Chia

A Short History of Mrs. Burns Lemon Basil

My Mom, Janet Ann Burns, and I moved into our first real home in 1951 on Tracy Place in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The backyard became the site of Moms new garden. She consulted with a Mrs. Clifton, one of the areas most successful gardeners, who gave us lemon basil seed she had saved from her last harvest and which she had grown since the 1920s. While this unique variety has possible origins in England, Thailand, or India, I never discovered how it came to New Mexico; it remains a mystery. Over the years, we continued to grow and save seed from this special herb. Moms basil became an essential element for the Burns cuisine. When I entered the University of Arizona in 1963, I planted some of the basil seeds as my first solo gardening effort. Years later, Mom lost all her plants in a late frost. Luckily I had some seed reserved and quickly sent her some. A similar incident had occurred with Mrs. Clifton, and Mom was able to replenish her with saved seed. The loss of this unique basil variety by both Mrs. Clifton and my Mom demonstrates how a rare plant variety is at great risk. Without a backup source of seed, this unique type of basil would have been lost forever. When I cofounded Native Seeds/SEARCH in 1983, Mrs. Burns Lemon Basil was one of the first seeds added to the collection. Today, this incredible variety is being grown widely in gardens around the world, keeping the treasured plant alive and abundant. Adapted from an article by Barney T. Burns in Native Seeds/SEARCHs Seedhead News, Issue 103 (Winter Solstice 2008). Please visit seedheadnews to read the full article.


More Herbs
German Thyme Thymus vulgaris. One of the most popular culinary herbs. Aromatic leaves and small, pink flower spikes on a short, creeping plant. A long history of medicinal use: thyme oil is antiseptic, thyme tea is mineralrich, anti-spasmodic. 6-12 Approx. 0.1g/300 seeds per packet. TS522 . Italian Parsley Petroselinum crispum. Flat celery leaves. The preferred parsley for cooking. Great dried. Provides a winter long supply of fresh nutritious greens. 2-3 tall. Approx. 0.5g/80 seeds per packet. TS160

Italian Parsley
Slo-Bolt Cilantro Coriandrum sativum. Whisper the words fresh cilantro. Your mouth will water! Indispensible for Chinese, Thai and Southwest recipes. Produces incredibly fragrant, glossy, bright green leaves. This durable new strain resists bolting. 6-20 tall. Approx. 2g/200 seeds per packet. TS509 True Greek Oregano Origanum vulgare hirtum. Taste the best strain of any oregano we have found! Deep, genuine, oregano flavor! Pinkish-white flowers decorate this herb that doubles as a perfect ground cover with soft gray-green leaves. 12-18 tall. Approx. 0.1g/800 seeds per packet. TS516

True Greek Oregano

Indigo Indigofera suffruticosa


A shrub, native to the New World and valued for its blue pigment, indigo is perennial in frost-free areas of the Sonoran Desert. Beautiful clusters of small pink flowers make this an attractive ornamental. Mayo Indian weavers harvest fresh leaves and extract a permanent blue dye. Approx. 0.2g/150 seeds per packet. Culture: Soak seeds in warm water overnight to soften the seed coat. Plant swollen seeds 1/2 inch deep in warm garden soil (spring) or in containers. Allow 12 inches between plants. Mature shrubs can be 36 feet tall. Plants thrive in hot weather and can be set back by cool weather. Can be grown indoors in containers. Seedsaving: A self-pollinating legume, indigo is an annual unless protected from frost. Harvest the dried pods, crush and use a small gauge screen to winnow off chaff.

Mayo Indigo

Mayo Indigo From a Mayo village near Navojoa, Sonora, where it grows along the irrigation canals and on sand bars in the Rio Mayo. Frost-sensitive at high elevations H/L ID001


More Southwest indigenous seeds are available at

Native Seeds/SEARCH Price List

Visit our retail store and for additional seed varieties and products!
SC001 SC002 SC003 Chiles Hopi Tohono Oodham 25.95 25.95 25.95 TS600 TS601 TS602 TS603 Southwest Warm Season Garden Southwest Cool Season Garden High Desert Seed Bucket Low Desert Seed Bucket 32.95 32.95 64.95 64.95


Code # Name


C019 C005 C002 C013 C003 C004 C006 C015 PC012 PC067 PC124 PC125 PC090 PC068 PC018 PC105 PC020 PC102 PC019 PC024 PC063 PC100 PC034 PC042 PC054 PC130 PC071 PL080 PL009 PL073 PL072 PL010 PL011 PS003 PS007 PT109 PT082 PT079 PT089 PT107 PT118 PT099 PT084 PT085 PT074 PT004 PT005 PT111 PT075 PT116 Amaranth Alamos Guarijio Grain Hopi Red Dye Mano de Gato Mayo Grain Mountain Pima Greens New Mexico Tarahumara Okite Common Bean Amarillo del Norte Colorado Bolita Four Corners Gold Frijol Chivita Frijol en Seco Hopi Black Hopi Black Pinto Hopi Light Yellow Hopi Pink Hopi Purple String Bean Hopi Yellow New Mexico Bolita Oodham Pink Taos Red Tarahumara Bakmina Tarahumara Chkame Tarahumara Ojo de Cabra Tarahumara Purple Yoeme Purple String Lima Bean Hopi Gray Hopi Red Hopi White Hopi Yellow Pima Beige Pima Orange Runner Bean Aztec White Tarahumara Bordal Tepary Bean Big Fields White Black Blue Speckled Brown Speckled Cocopah Brown Colonia Morelos Speckled Paiute Mixed Paiute White Paiute Yellow Pinacate Sacaton Brown Sacaton White Santa Rosa White Tohono Oodham Brown Tohono Oodham White 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 3.95 3.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 D054 D029 D018 D021 D001 D032 D015 D019 D033 D005 D058 D002 D052 D009 D059 D003 D051 D007 D024 D004 D017 D006 DF001 D053 D020 D030 DC023 DC027 DC012 V001 V002 V018 V013 V010 V015 V009 V004 V020 V006 V014 ZD084 ZD081 ZD083 Chile Alcalde Casados Native Chimayo Cochiti Del Arbol Escondida Isleta Jemez Kori Sitakame Mirasol Nambe Supreme Negro Negro de Valle Ordoo Patagonia Pico de Gallo Pico de Pajaro San Felipe San Juan Tsil Sandia Santo Domingo Sinahuisa Tabasco Tarahumara Chile Colorado Vallero Wenks Yellow Hots Chiltepin Hermosillo Select South Texas Chile Piquin Texas Cowpea Bisbee Black Bisbee Red Cerocahui Corrientes Mayo Colima Pinto Mayo Speckled Pima Bajo Sonoran Yori Muni Texas Tohono Oodham Yori Cahui Corn: Dent Dia de San Juan Mayo Batchi Mayo Tuxpeo 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 4.95 4.95 4.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95

Code # Name
ZF139 ZF039 ZF051 ZF009 ZF014 ZF054 ZF034 ZF018 ZF021 ZF016 ZL060 ZT045 ZL134 ZL126 ZT033 ZL081 ZT044 ZP094 ZP099 ZP092 ZP101 ZS142 ZS101 ZS112 Z121 H001 H002 R009 R005 R016 R004 M064 M022 M025 M028 M020 M052 M056 M047 M034 GR008 GR006 HB014 HB002 HB008 HB004 HB003 HB016 HB007 HB013 ID001 F014 F003 F020 F023 Corn: Flour Escondida Blue Guarijio Maiz Azul Hopi Greasy Head Mayo Tosabatchi Navajo White Santo Domingo Blue Taos Blue Tarahumara Blando de Sonora Tarahumara Maiz Azul Tohono Oodham 60-Day Corn: Flour/Flint Gila Pima Aal Hu: Guarijio Maiz Amarillo Jicarilla Apache Concho Santo Domingo Posole Tarahumara Apachito Tarahumara Maiz Colorado Tarahumara Serape Corn: Popping Mayo Yellow Chapalote Palomero de Chihuahua Reventador Tarahumara Corn: Sweet Guarijio Sweet Hopi Sweet Yuman Yellow Corn: Teosinte Northern Tepehuan Maizillo-Annual Cotton Hopi Short Staple Sacaton Aboriginal Devils Claw Eagle Creek Paiute San Carlos Apache Domesticated Tohono Oodham Domesticated Gourd Hernandez Dipper Hopi Rattle Mayo Gooseneck Mayo Warty Bule Oodham Dipper San Juan Dipper San Juan Mix Tarahumara Small Bule Tepehuan Canteen Greens Mostaza Roja Orach Herbs Corrales Azafrn Desert Chia Guarijio Conivari Mayo/Yoeme Basil Mrs. Burns Famous Lemon Basil Swain Heirloom Dill Tarahumara Chia Yoeme Alvaaka Basil Indigo Mayo Melon Acoma Chimayo Cochiti Mix Corrales

2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 4.95 4.95 4.95 4.95 3.95 3.95 4.95 4.95 4.95 4.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 4.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95

Code # Name
F017 F011 F004 F021 F016 F009 F010 F012 F008 F005 F007 F006 F019 F018 OK002 OK004 OK001 OK003 B001 O001 Q024 Q020 Q009 Q006 Q002 S001 S018 S004 S011 S009 S005 S017 S006 S002 EP045 EA004 EA013 EX003 EM029 EA016 EA003 EM033 EP044 EM031 EX001 EM032 EA009 EX015 EX005 EP046 EA021 EX006 EA015 EM037 EX011 EP042 EA014 EA025 EA020 EM040 Esperanza de Oro Hopi Casaba Isleta Pueblo Jemez Melon de Castilla Navajo Mix Navajo Yellow New Mexico Ojo Caliente Oodham Ke:li Ba:so San Felipe San Juan Santo Domingo Casaba Santo Domingo Native Okra Becks Gardenville Eagle Pass Guarijio Nescafe Texas Hill Country Red Onion Tohono Oodham Iitoi Panic Grass Guarijio Pea Cumpas Green Oodham Green Salt River Pima Taos Tarahumara Chicharos Sorghum Apache Red Sugar cane Mountain Pima Onavas Red San Felipe Pueblo Santa Fe Red Tarahumara Popping Tasagui Texas Black Amber Molasses Tohono Oodham Squash Acoma Pumpkin Calabaza de las Aguas Calabaza Mexicana Calabaza Temporal Carrizo Chimayo Calabaza Gila Pima Ha:I Guarijio Segualca Hopi Pumpkin Magdalena Big Cheese Mayo Blusher Mayo Kama Navajo Cushaw Tail Squash Navajo Gray Hubbard Navajo Hubbard Pacheco Pumpkin Papalote Ranch Cushaw Peasco Cheese Silver Edged Sonoran Taos Tarahumara Tohono Oodham Ha:l Velarde Veracruz Pepita Yoeme Segualca

2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95

Code # Name
I008 I014 I002 I003 I012 I010 I005 N006 N010 N008 N001 N005 N003 N004 N007 TM011 TM001 TM002 TM003 Sunflower Havasupai Mix Havasupai Small-Seeded Havasupai Striped Hopi Black Dye Hopi Branched Hopi Mixed Tarahumara White Tobacco Isleta Pueblo Mountain Pima Papante Punche Mexicano San Juan Pueblo Santo Domingo Ceremonial Tarahumara El Cuervo Tarahumara Wild Tomatillo Mountain Pima Tarahumara Tepehuan Zuni

2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 4.95 4.95 4.95 4.95 4.95 4.95 4.95 4.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95

Code # Name
TM005 TM014 TM013 TM007 TM012 G012 G001 G002 G005 G006 G009 G011 G008 G003 WH003 WH001 Tomato Ciudad Victoria Nichols Heirloom Prescott Heirloom Punta Banda Texas Wild Cherry Watermelon Acoma Hopi Red Hopi Yellow Mayo Mayo Sandia Navajo Red Seeded Navajo Winter San Juan Tohono Oodham Yellow-Meated Wheat Pima Club White Sonora

2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95

TUCSON SEED VARIETIES TS134 Arugula Bean TS304 Kentucky Blue TS302 Provider TS305 Rattlesnake TS303 Royal Burgundy Beet TS025 Detroit Red Bell Pepper TS325 California Wonder TS326 Gypsy Broccoli TS033 Waltham 29 Cabbage TS058 Golden Acre TS059 Red Acre Carrot TS062 Dragon TS060 Kinko 6 TS061 Scarlet Nantes Cauliflower TS073 Early Snowball Cucumber TS316 SMR 58 TS315 Marketmore 76 Herbs TS522 German Thyme TS160 Italian Parsley TS509 Slo-Bolt Cilantro TS516 True Greek Oregano Kale TS105 Red Russian Leek TS110 King Richard Lettuce TS125 Buttercrunch Bibb Butterhead TS233 Summertime Crisphead TS120 Black-Seeded Simpson Looseleaf TS122 Oakleaf Looseleaf TS127 Red Saladbowl Looseleaf TS124 Cimarron

2.45 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.45 2.45 2.95 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.95 3.95 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.95 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 TS507 TS140 TS142 TS143 TS141 TS170 TS188 TS186 TS182 TS180 TS086 TS190 TS191 TS200 TS330 TS391 TS331 TS333 TS211 TS340 TS220 TS223

Onion Chives Evergreen Hardy Perennial Red Creole Texas Early Grano White Sweet Spanish Parsnip Harris Model Pea Maestro Shelling Oregon Sugar Pod II Snow Sugar Ann Snap Super Sugarsnap Radicchio Palla Rossa Tardiva Radish Champion Easter Egg Spinach Bloomsdale Long Standing Squash Big Max Pumpkin Dark Star Zucchini Waltham Butternut Yellow Crookneck Swiss Chard Rainbox Mix Tomato Flamenco Turnip Purple Top White Globe White Egg

2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.45 3.45 2.45 3.95 4.95 2.45 2.45 2/95 2.45 2.45 4.95 2.45 2.45 2.45 2.95 2.45 2.95


What are the Heritage Foods of the Arizona Sonora Borderlands and Why Do They Matter?
by Gary Paul Nabhan
The cultivation of domesticated foods began in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands more than 4,100 years ago, making it one of the oldest continuouslyfarmed cultural landscapes in North America. The oldest and most extensive irrigation systems and oldest crops in North America are found in this region. Compared to other parts of our continent, more of the same crop varieties that were prehistorically cultivated here continue to be raised today. Farms on southern Arizona reservations such as Ramona Farms and San Xavier Co-op need to be honored for producing native crops on the same lands, in an unbroken chain that goes back millennia. Spanish introductions from the Old World further enriched our heritage crop repertoire three hundred years ago, and many were integrated into the cropping cycle by Native American and Hispanic farmers. In Southern Arizona, Avalon Gardens, Tumacacori and Tubac Presidio may be among the oldest sites where the Spanish introduced Old World crops to lands now found within the present-day U.S. Heritage fruit trees and grain, bean and vegetable crops from the Spanish Mission era still grow throughout the region. But just what is a heritage crop variety or livestock breed? It is one that has historically been linked to the identity and livelihoods of families and communities in a particular landscape. Its seeds or blood line may have been kept within the community for multiple generations. It is not merely the genetic stock which confers heritage status; it is also the oral history about its production, harvest and uses, and the persistence of traditional methods of raising, processing and preparing it for the table. Of course, wild foods may also be considered heritage foods. Well then, what are some of the heritage foods of the borderlands? They include Mission figs and pomegranates, such as the ones still found at Tumacacori National Monument. They may also include the Mission grapes once vining around Mexican-American homesteads on the Sonoita Plains, and then reintroduced to the Sonoita Vineyards. They include the Criollo Corriente cattle found in the headwaters of Sonoita Creek. The white Sonora tepary beans, chapalote corn and White Sonora wheat being grown at Amado Farms certainly qualify. For wild foods, we might consider the chiltepin, elderberry blossoms and fruit, mesquite pods, the wild greens known as verdolagas and quelites, and the Emory Oak acorns known as bellotas. Saguaro and prickly pear cactus fruits are harvested in the borderlands watersheds to this day. Why should we care about what people here have eaten in the past? Many of these food plants and animals are still adapted to the land and water resources here, and grow well without pampering. Many are delicious, nutritious and esteemed by the regions finest chefs and home-style cooks. Finally, they remain part of our identity, for there are stories, songs, jokes and recipes for them that still circulate among our friends and neighbors. We have been blessed by a rich diversity of seeds, roots, fruits and succulents from the labors of our predecessors and ancestors in this region. Unlike many other regions of the U.S. where the culinary treasures of the prehistoric and historic eras have been ethnically-cleansed from the landscape, the borderlands still carry the flavors and fragrances enjoyed here centuries ago. With the accelerating rate of climate change in our arid regionwhere winter rainfall is expected to decrease, and winter as well as summer temperatures are likely to risewater scarcity and heat spells will be the norm. The hardy, time-tried heritage crops need extra care during this transition, but are likely to play a disproportionately important role in the future of agriculture in our region, as many waterconsumptive crops go by the wayside. We need your support and participation as stewards of these seeds and fruits, and as cooks and chefs of the delicious foods derived from them. They will help us make it through this era of uncertainty, if we make the commitment to help them through it as well. We can vote for their persistence with our wallets, roasting pits, and gardens, or we can vote for a placeless and tasteless set of foods to land in our mouths and memories. Which will you choose? Gary Nabhan is a confounder of Native Seeds/SEARCH. His new book with Paul Mirocha, Desert Terroir, will be available from the NS/S retail store and online as of early March, 2012.


Cucumis melo


Introduced by the Spanish into the Greater Southwest in the 1600s. The fruits are varied, with orange, green or white flesh and skins that are smooth, ribbed or netted. A summertime favorite. Approx. 1g/25 seeds per packet. Culture: A warm-season crop. Plant 3-5 seeds 1/2 inch deep directly in basins, 24 inches apart with plenty of room for sprawling vines. Overwatering can dilute flavor of fruit and cause splitting. Seedsaving: Annual plants are insect pollinated, and all Cucumis species cross. Male and female flowers form on each plant. Ripe fruits often have a distinct aroma. Remove seeds from cut fruit, wash off fibers, and spread seeds on a cloth to dry. Dry thoroughly before storing. Acoma

Acoma Fruit are round or oval, with smooth yellow skin and ribs. Flesh is white to salmon-colored with a mild, sweet flavor. H F014 Chimayo Spanish heirloom from nothern New Mexico. Oval fruits have a sweet orange flesh. H/L F003 Cochiti Mix A mix of native and honeydew types collected from Cochiti Pueblo. Fruit vary from round, smooth-skinned honeydews with light green flesh to elongated oval fruit with ribs and orange flesh. H F020 Corrales Originally collected in Corrales, New Mexico. Typical oblong native melons with ribs and smooth skin. Dark green fruit turn yellow when ripe. Sweet and juicy. H F023 Esperanza de Oro A native melon, interbred for years with Crenshaw melons and selected for size and sweetness in Corrales, New Mexico. H/L F017 Hopi Casaba Two distinct fruit types within this collection: (1) wrinkled, round, yellow-green fruits; and (2) smoothly elongated yellow-green fruits. Both have pale green to orange flesh. Juicy with a mild flavor. Tasty with chile, salt and lime. Good keeper if unbruised. H/L F011 Isleta Pueblo This orange- and green-fleshed, ribbed melon is from near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tolerates heat. H/L F004 Jemez Oval, ribbed, mostly smooth-skinned typical native melon, from Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico. Orange flesh and sweet flavor. H F021 Melon de Castilla A deliciously sweet melon with pale yellow, smooth skin, a staff favorite. From the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico. H/L F016 Navajo Mix Our original seeds were obtained from a melon entered in the Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico. From growouts, three fruit types have been produced: ribbed, smooth ovals, and elongated. Mild flavored flesh is pale green to light orange. H/L F009 Navajo Yellow Ribbed fruit are round or oval and have smooth, yellow skin and orange flesh. Originally purchased at the Navajo Nation Fair. Good keeper if unbruised. H F010 New Mexico Originally from Alameda, New Mexico (near Albuquerque). Fruits are ribbed green-yellow with sweet and juicy orange, white, green or yellow flesh. H/L F012

Hopi Casaba

Isleta Pueblo

Navajo Mix



More Melon


Oodham Ke:li Ba:so A favorite of Tohono Oodham and Pima low-desert farmers. Fruits are casaba type with light green flesh. Very tasty a staff favorite. H/L F005 Ojo Caliente Originally obtained from a farmer in northern New Mexico. The oval fruits are smooth-skinned and can weigh 5-7 pounds. Pale green flesh with a tinge of orange is sweet and juicy. Harvest ripe fruits when bright yellow and aromatic. H/L F008 San Felipe A mix of typical Puebloan melons with a variety of shapes from long, smooth skins to round casaba types. Some with netting, others with smooth skin. H/L F007


San Juan A prolific honeydew-type with smooth, light green skin and light to deep lime-colored flesh. Vines are somewhat compact and desert-hardy. H F006 Santo Domingo Casaba Originally collected in Santo Domingo Pueblo, this is a casaba-type melon. The skin is slightly wrinkled and the flesh is white to light green. Sweet and tasty. H F019 Santo Domingo Native Originally from Santo Domingo Pueblo, these are typical of the native melons grown for centuries in the pueblos of New Mexico. The fruit are oblong, ribbed, and have predominantly smooth skin. Some netting or cracking occurs. The flesh is orange and tasty. H F018


Abelmoschus esculentus


An introduced African crop that does well in southern areas of the United States. Approx. 2g/25 seeds per packet. Culture: Soak seeds of this warm-season crop for quicker germination. Plant 1/2 inch deep and allow 12 inches between plants. Plants can be 4-5 feet tall and will produce until frost. Seedsaving: The annual is insect pollinated, so varieties will cross. Allow the pods to dry and mature on the plant. Harvest before pods split open. Remove seeds carefully.

Eagle Pass

Okra seeds can only be shipped to AZ, NM, TX and OK addresses.

Becks Gardenville A Texas heirloom from San Antonio. A vigorous, productive and drought-tolerant plant. Okra is ready to pick when it snaps off the stalk. H/L OK002 Eagle Pass From the Carrizo Springs/Eagle Pass area in Texas. Good in gumbo or cut and fried. Not slimy or stringy when cooked. Plants bear large pods beginning near ground level, up to 5. H/L OK004 Guarijio Nescafe From Sonora. The beautiful yellow flowers have red throats. Young pods are fired, boiled or added to stews and gumbos. Seeds can be roasted, ground and mixed with coffee. Large mature pods are good for dried arrangements. H/L OK001

Texas Hill Country Red


Texas Hill Country Red Attractive plant with colorful bronze-red fruit. Produces well in summer heat. Plants are 5-6 tall. Slender pods can be slivered and eaten raw in salads or cooked. H/L OK003

Onion Allium cepa


These prolific multiplier onions have a shallot-like flavor. They are easy to grow. Approx. 10 bulbs/packet. Culture: Separate bulbs, and plant in the fall 1 inch below surface and 12 inches apart. Bulbs will mutiply into clumps and can be harvested throughout the cooler months. Tops will die back in the heat of summer and may return with monsoon rains; bulbs can remain in the ground or be harvested and stored in a cool dry place for planting in the fall. Seedsaving: Plants rarely flower, propagate by division.

Tohono Oodham Iitoi

Tohono Oodham Iitoi An early introduction by the Spanish, these are a wonderful addition to winter gardens in the low desert. In cooler regions, growth is in the summer. Mild flavor. H/L B001

More Onions


Chives Allium schoenoprasum. Experience the delicious, fresh, delicateonion flavor of chives on baked potatoes. Handsome, edible, pink flower globes provide another source of long-lasting cut flowers. 12 tall. Approx. 0.5g/250 seeds per packet. TS507 Evergreen Hardy Perennial A delicious bunching onion. Leave some in the garden. Evergreen is a true multiplier onion and will divide iteself perennially. Resistance to thrips, smut, and pink root rot. Approx. 1g/65 seeds per packet. TS140 Red Creole The best offering in red, short-day onions for Southern latitudes. Not as sweet as some. Spicy and great when cooked. A good keeper if dry and ventilated. Medium size. Pink root rot resistant. Approx. 1g/250 seeds per packet. TS142 Texas Early Grano Developed in Texas in 1944 to be the perfect eating sweet onion. The mother of all the modern super sweet onions like Vidalia. Large globe, white flesh, nice flavor. Resistant to pink root rot. Approx. 1g/250 seeds per packet. TS143 White Sweet Spanish Large bulbs with glistening white skin and mild sweet flesh. Best when eaten fresh. Medium keeper. Performs well in the Southwest. Intermediate day variety. Approx. 1g/115 seeds per packet. TS141


Red Creole

Unique, innovative and necessary! Seed School fills in a gaping hole in the sustainable, agricultural landscape.
Toby Hemenway, author of Gaias Garden



Panic Grass Panicum sonorum


A native domesticate of arid America, the grass is used as a forage and the tiny seed harvested for grain. Replace a quarter to half of the flour in recipes with finely ground seed. Approx. 0.5g/500 seeds per packet. Culture: Plant with summer rains by broadcasting. Rake in. Protect germinating seeds from birds. Guarijio Seedsaving: A wind-pollinated annual. Birds love the seed, which is borne in loose heads. Protect with paper or cloth bags. Harvest when dry, strip seeds and winnow off chaff.

Guarijio Sagui. A rare grass. The small golden seed is rich in lysine. Attractive plants are fast-growing and heat-tolerant. Birds love it! H/L O001

A Brief History of Panic Grass

Panic grass, Panicum sonorum, was domesticated in either Arizona or Sonora sometime during the prehistoric period. Panic grass plants produce large quantities of very small seeds that contain a large amount of lysine, a protein normally or usually found only in animal products. The lysine content in panic grass is a recent discovery and holds great promise for health applications in the future. For years panic grass was assumed to be extinct. One of the last sightings of this rare cultivar was made by Dr. Howard Scott Gentry in the 1930s at the Guarijio Indian village of Guaseremos in far eastern Sonora, Mexico. In 1980, the U.S. Department of Agriculture asked Gary Paul Nabhan (one of four NS/S co-founders) to see if he could collect a viable seed sample of the grass. Gary invited me along, as I knew the area. Our adventurous trip to the remote village began in a canary yellow Chevy Blazer and ended up as a twoday trek on rented burros, guided by a 12-year-old Mexican cowboy. By a remarkable chain of events, we finally reached the scattered farmsteads of Guasaremos and asked the astonished Guarijio Indian families if anyone had any panic grass seed. Amazingly, we were directed to a local farmer who had some extra seed we could purchase. Panic grass was not extinct! It was one of the rarest of cultivars, but because of the traditions of the Guarijio farmers it had persisted for forty years since Dr. Gentry last saw it. Our small sample was delivered to the USDA Seed Bank in Fort Collins, Colorado, and eventually was included in Native Seeds/SEARCHs Seed Bank. What a discovery! Adapted from an article by Barney T. Burns in Native Seeds/SEARCHs Seedhead News, Issue 109 (Spring 2011). Please visit seedheadnews to read the full article.

Basic Seed Saving

Bill McDorman, Executive Director of Native Seeds/SEARCH, describes useful terms and concepts to seed saving and lists specific seed saving instructions for 18 common vegetables and 29 wildflowers. $5.95 PB151


Pea Pisum sativum


Introduced by the Spanish. The seed is eaten green and dried peas are used in soups or cooked like beans. Approx. 10g/50 seeds per packet. Culture: A cool season crop that should be planted in the fall or winter. Plant 1/2 inch deep and 6 inches apart. Plants will sprawl and can produce until days get too hot. Seedsaving: A self-pollinating annual. Dried pods can be harvested as they mature or entire plants dried and threshed near the end of the season. Oodham Green

Cumpas Green A smooth green pea from central Sonora, once home to the Opata. Used in soups. H/L Q024 Oodham Green Originally collected in 1981 from Santa Rosa Village on the Tohono Oodham Nation. Good in soups and stews. Smooth, green seeds. H/L Q020

Salt River Pima

Salt River Pima The large seeds are tan and smooth. Good in soups and stews. Hardy in the desert. H/L Q009 Taos Grown in Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. The large seeds are tan to light green and smooth. Good in soups. H/L Q006 Tarahumara Chicharos From the Sierra Madre in northern Mexico. Grown along the edges of bean and corn fields. Plant in early spring in cooler climates. H/L Q002


More Pea

prices as listed

Maestro Shelling (Edible peas). A favorite in the Southwest because of its double pods and heat resistance! Large, sweet peas in 4 pods on 27 vines. Resistant to virus, mildew, mosaic. Approx. 2g/61 seeds per packet. $3.45 TS188 Oregon Sugar Pod II Snow (Edible pods). Famous for its sweet, mild flavor. Delicious raw, in stir-fries or steamed al dente. Tall, 24-30 vines bear smooth, 4 pods. Resistant to both pea enation virus and powdery mildew. Approx. 2g/68 seeds per packet. $2.45 TS186 Sugar Ann Snap (Edible pods, edible peas). The earliest snap pea. Short 2 vines need no support. Both pods and peas develop well and are exceptionally sweet. Eat fresh in the garden! Approx. 2g/56 seeds per packet. $3.95 TS182 Super Sugarsnap (Edible pods, edible peas). A little earlier sugarsnap with increased disease resistance. Use both as sugar pod or shelled. 5 vines should be trellised. Resists powdery mildew. Approx. 2g/62 seeds per packet. $4.95 TS180

Maestro Shelling

Sugar Ann Snap



Sorghum Sorghum bicolor


Originally from Africa. Introduced as a forage, grain and sugar source. The prolific plants are desert hardy. Stalks are chewed for their sweet juices children love them. Approx. 2g/75 seeds per packet. Culture: In the spring or with summer rains, broadcast seed and rake in, or plant 1/2 inch deep and 10 inches apart. Thin to allow space, as plants will tiller (sprout stalks from base). Apache Red Sugar Cane Seedsaving: A wind-pollinated annual, so varieties will cross. Bag seedheads with paper or cloth bags to protect them from birds. Strip dry seeds from stem and winnow.

Apache Red Sugar Cane The red seedheads attract birds, and the stalk is chewed like candy when the red seeds are ripe. From San Carlos Reservation, Arizona. L S001 Mountain Pima A red-seeded sugar cane grown by the Mountain Pima for eating. H/L S018

San Felipe Pueblo

Onavas Red The stalks produce many tillers and are sweet and juicy, with burgundy red seeds. From the Pima Bajo village of Onavas. H/L S004 San Felipe Pueblo Raised as sugar cane, these stalks are chewed as a sweet treat. Dark black seeds, plants are up to 5 tall. H S011 Santa Fe Red Grown at the Santo Domingo Pueblo, the seeds are brick red and grow on slender heads. Cut stalks are chewed for a sweet treat. H S009

Texas Black Amber Molasses

Tarahumara Popping White-seeded variety collected from Batopilas Canyon in Chihuahua. H/L S005 Tasagui Collected from a remote Guarijio rancho in the Sierra Madre foothills. This is a tall, sweet, sugar-type sorghum. The stalks are eaten like sugar cane. Dark red seeds. H/L S017 Texas Black Amber Molasses An heirloom from Waco, Texas. Plum black seeds. Used for molasses and silage. H/L S006 Tohono Oodham Ka:na. Produces a mix of red and black seedheads. Crosses with S. halapense, Johnson grass. H/L S002

Tohono Oodham

Discussion Forum
Our website now features a forum for public discussions of gardening, farming and related topics in the Greater Southwest. Are you wondering what kinds of beans are suitable for your area, or how to deal with ground squirrels? How about the proper processing techniques for chapalote? This is the place to post such questions and tap the collective knowledge of the Native Seeds/ SEARCH community. Are you eager to exchange seeds youve saved for seeds of other varieties? This is a place to do that too!


Squash Cucurbita spp.

Squash fruits vary in shape, color and flavor. Flowers, seeds and growing tips of vines are all edible. All fruits can be eaten when small and immature as summer squash, and mature as winter squash. Approx. 4.5g/15 seeds per packet. Culture: In the spring or with the summer rains, sow a few seeds one inch deep in each basin, allowing room for abundant vine growth. Seedsaving: An insect-pollinated annual, varieties of the same species will cross. Allow fruits to ripen and mature on the vine until skin is hard and stem brown. After harvesting, fruit needs to afterripen for 30 days in cool location. Remove seeds, wash and dry before storage. Cultural Varieties: Some of our squash and melons exhibit a diversity of fruit types within a population. Although it may appear that a grower has allowed varieties to cross-pollinate, and did not maintain the purity of the strain, we have found that this is a cultural mixing. Traditional gardeners and farmers intentionally grow a mix of fruit types to add variety to their harvest and diet. When saving seeds from a diverse planting, gardeners can continue to select for desirable fruit types. Save seeds from the best-tasting squash, the healthiest plants, fruits that stored well, and other plants with the characteristics you want.

Calabaza de las Aguas

Calabaza Mexicana

Cucurbita argyrosperma


Striped cushaw-type fruit. The fast-growing vines have large splotched leaves. Characteristic peduncles (stems) are large and corky. The fruits of this species usually have a long storage life.
Calabaza de las Aguas Planted with the rains, or aguas. From the bottom of Copper Canyon in Mexico. Small to medium-sized fruits have light orange, very sweet flesh. Taos seed type. H/L EA004 Calabaza Mexicana Pear or flattened pumpkin-shaped fruits are white with green stripes turning yellow-orange, with pale colored flesh and Taos-type seeds. Collected from the region around Espanola, New Mexico, at 5,500. H EA013 Chimayo Calabaza Typical New Mexico cushaw-type squash with green/white striped skin turning orange when mature. From Chimayo, New Mexico. H EA016 Gila Pima Ha:I Originally collected in Bapchule, Arizona, this was one of our first squash collections. The light-skinned fruit are pear-shaped. Tasty and stores well. H/L EA003 Mesilla Calabaza Somewhat early-maturing, elongated, pale green, striped cushaw from Old Mesilla near Las Cruces in southern New Mexico. Very warty along neck and upper body. Fruit can weigh up to 15 lbs. H EA026 Navajo Cushaw Tail Squash Large green- and white-striped cushaw. Fruit are round with long curved neck (or tail ). Flesh is cream to light orange colored. A good keeper. H EA009

Navajo Cushaw

Silver Edged



More Squash: Cucurbita argyrosperma


Papalote Ranch Cushaw Small, dark-green cushaws with varied shapes. Tasty and versatile. Good keeper with very thick skin. Collected at Papalote Ranch in southern Arizona, but originally from Mexico. H/L EA021 Silver Edged Grown for the tasty seeds, which are large and white with a silver edge. Seeds are roasted for pepitas or used in pipian sauce. H/L EA015 Tohono Oodham Ha:l A very heat tolerant and rapidly maturing squash from the Tohono Oodham Nation. Prized for the immature fruits, Ha:al mamat (children). Mature fruits have light orange flesh and store well. L EA014 Velarde Typical cushaw with green and white stripes, large bulbous end tapering to small neck. From Velarde, New Mexico (6,300). Taos seed type. Makes great-tasting soup. H EA025 Veracruz Pepita The beautiful round, flattened fruits are white with green mottled stripes. Grown for the long, narrow seeds, which are toasted for snacks or ground to prepare pipian sauce. Originally collected in Veracruz, southern Mexico. H EA020

Tohono Oodham

Veracruz Pepita

Cucurbita maxima
Hubbard or turban type fruit, large beige seed.


Calabaza Temporal Hubbard-type squash from the Manzano Mountains of New Mexico. Light green skin with yellow to orange flesh, up to 25 lbs with irrigation, 10 lbs when dry farmed. H EX003 Mayo Blusher The large, white to light green fruits are round to elongated in shape and blush pink when finally ripe. The apricot-colored flesh is sweet. Good keepers. L EX001 Minnies Apache Hubbard A blue ribbon winner at the White Mountain Apache Tribal Fair. Fruits are variable sizes and shapes, with light to dark orange skin and white or tan seeds. The bright orange flesh is non-stringy and sweet. H EX002 Navajo Gray Hubbard Large, blue-gray fruit with thick orange flesh. Easy to grow, stores well and tastes great. Common across the Navajo Nation. H EX015

Mayo Blusher

Minnies Apache Hubbard

Navajo Hubbard Originally collected at Fort Defiance on the Navajo Nation. Large fruits with light green-blue to dark green to orange skin and tasty orange flesh. Large tan seeds. H/L EX005 Peasco Cheese A flat, ribbed cheese-shaped squash with sweet orange flesh. Fruits have gray or pale pink skin and can weigh 5-8 lbs. Collected in the Spanish village of Peasco, New Mexico (8,000). H EX006 Taos Traditional hubbard-type squash from Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. H EX0011

Navajo Hubbard


Not seeing an old standby? Try

Cucurbita moschata


Includes Butternut and Big Cheese fruit types. They can cross with C. argyrosperma, but usually flower later. They have a nonstringy texture and are good keepers.
Carrizo Common in southern Sonora, the orange fruit are butternut-shaped and tasty. Makes a great soup or puree. H/L EM029 Guarijio Segualca Originally colected in San Bernardo, Sonora. Fruit types vary in shape and size. Good keepers. H/L EM033 Magdalena Big Cheese One of the oldest types of cultivated squash. Excellent producer of large, light orange, ribbed fruits with a flattened pumpkin shape and sweet, bright orange flesh. H/L EM031 Mayo Kama A butternut-shaped fruit with flavorful salmon-colored flesh. Productive until frost and good keepers. From Sonora, Mexico. H/L EM032 Sonoran Beautiful muted-orange and cream-striped fruit with bright orange flesh. Purchased at a roadside stand in central Sonora, an area once inhabited by the Opata. H/L EM037 Yoeme Segualca Collected from the Yoeme village of Vicam, Sonora. Fruit are large, muted orange-colored, and fluted with a flattened shape. Excellent taste. Like other C. moschata varieties, may require a long growing season. H/L EM040


Magdelena Big Cheese

More Squash: Cucurbita moschata


Waltham Butternut The most popular winter squash. Deep, butterysmooth orange flesh inside hard, tan, 8-10 skins. Improved and selected variety with richer flavor and larger yields. One of the best storing winter squashes. Approx 6g/90 seeds per packet. TS331

Waltham Butternut

Cucurbita pepo


Mostly grown for immature fruit and seeds. Pumpkins, acorn squash, zucchini and ornamental gourds are also C. pepos. Do not grow these varieties together if saving seeds.
Acoma Pumpkin Round fruits have dark and light green stripes. Grown in northern New Mexico and used as winter squash. H EP045 Hopi Pumpkin Fruits can be round or elongated, striped or solid green turning yellow as they mature. Originally collected in Hotevilla, Arizona. H EP044 Pacheco Pumpkin An unusual collection from the northern plains of Chihuahua. The seeds reportedly came originally from a ranch to the west in Sonora. Typical round to elongated native pepo with bright yellow skin and delicious cream-colored flesh. H EP046 Tarahumara Pumpkin-shaped medium-sized fruits are cream- and greenstriped with beige ribs. Very sweet and great tasting. H/L EP042

Pacheco Pumpkin


More Squash: Cucurbita pepo
prices as listed
Big Max Pumpkin Grow Big Max for big carved pumpkins or delicious pumpkin pie. Not unusual to harvest 20, 100 lb. giants. Feed the leftovers to the chickens for deep orange yolks. Approx 3g/120 seeds per packet. $2.45 TS330 Dark Star Zucchini This new favorite for market growers features dark green, glossy fruits that keep for long periods. Its light yellow interior flesh, with elevated levels of lutene, makes for superb eating. Open plant for easy picking. Approx 3g/55 seeds per packet. $4.95 TS391 Yellow Crookneck Tender, yellow squash with gracefully arched stems. Firm texture. Buttery flavor. Harvest early as baby squash or wait until 5-6 long for slicing. Approx 6g/58 seeds per packet. $2.45 TS333

Dark Star Zucchini

Yellow Crookneck

Squash Pollination
It is important to know the species of squash you plant, as crossing occurs readily between varieties of the same species but is uncommon between species (Cucurbita argyrosperma and C. moschata are known to cross). Hand pollination may be necessary to ensure fruit set if adequate pollinators are not available or you are growing more than one variety of the same species and want to save seeds. Squash plants bear separate male and female flowers and depend on insect pollination for fruit production. Female flowers have a small baby squash at the base of the flower and are usually on shorter stems. Male squash flowers are produced on long stems (peduncle) and usually appear well before female flowers. The flowers open in the early morning so it is necessary Male (left) and female (right) squash flowers taped to get to them before the bees and other insects are shut during the controlled pollination process. active. If you are growing more than one variety of the same species, then taping the flowers shut the evening before they open will help prevent unintentional pollen mixing. Tape both male and female flowers shut. A ball of cotton gently placed on top of the pollinated stigma before being taped shut helps prevent pollen-laden insects from burrowing into the flower and crossing it. Label pollinated flowers so that you can save the seed only from those fruits. The next morning, collect the male flowers and distribute them among the females, using 2-3 male flowers per female. Remove the tape and petals from the male flowers, exposing the anthers and pollen. Quickly open the female flowers without tearing the petals, brush the pollen onto the stigma of the female flower and tape shut again. Gourds (Lagenaria siceraria) may be hand-pollinated using the same techniques as for squash. Gourds tend to abort flowers more frequently than squash, so you will want to be sure to pollinate more female flowers than you need fruit.


Sunflower Helianthus spp.


A Native American domesticate, the seeds are eaten raw or roasted, pressed for oil, planted as an ornamental or for bird feed. The black-seeded variety is used for basketry dye material by the Hopi. Approx. 2g/25 seeds per packet. Culture: Plant seeds in the spring or with the summer rains, 1 inch deep and 12 inches apart. Plants can grow 6-7 feet tall. Seedsaving: Sunflowers are insect-pollinated annuals, and all varieties will cross. Protect maturing seed heads from the birds with paper sacks or cloth bags (pillow cases work great). Allow seeds to dry in the flower heads. Rub out seeds and winnow off chaff. Havasupai SmallSeeded

Havasupai Mix Originally collected at Havasupai Village. Yields a mix of striped and black seeds. H/L I008 Havasupai Small-Seeded Collected at Havasupai, this sunflower has black seeds that are much smaller than any of our other sunflowers. It was originally collected in the mid-80s and sent to the USDA. We obtained a sample in 1993. H/L I014 Havasupai Striped From the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Long narrow seeds. Lodging is a problem in the low desert. H/L I002 Hopi Black Dye Called Tceqa by the Hopi, the blue/black hull is used for wool and basket dye and eye medicine, but the seeds are also edible. H/L I003 Hopi Branched Plants have many branches with small heads rather than a single stalk. Contains white/black-striped, solid black and gray/black-striped seeds. Originally collected in 1978 in lower Moenkopi. H/L I012 Hopi Mixed Tall, single-headed plants with massive flower heads. Seeds are white/black-striped, solid black or gray/black-striped. An early collection from Kykotsmovi. H/L I010 Tarahumara White This rare variety with solid gold flowers has all-white hulls. Canadian Mennonite in origin but obtained by the Tarahumara more than 40 years ago when some Mennonites relocated to Chihuahua. H/L I005

Havasupai Striped

Hopi Black Dye

Tarahumara White

Share Your Experiences with Us

We are eager to obtain, summarize and share the experiences of gardeners growing seeds from our collection. Plants can respond remarkably differently under different environmental conditions and growing practices. The more we know collectively about the characteristics and performance of these crop varieties, the better we as a community can utilize, and therefore protect, the Southwests rich crop diversity. Please help us curate our collection by sharing your succeses and failures. Our new online discussion forum ( is an excellent place to post your stories and ask questions. We are also developing an expansive new tool for our website which will provide powerful new ways for you to learn about our collection, get guidance on what varieties might perform well in your area, and share your results so that we can all get to know these plants better. Look for this tool on our website sometime in 2012.



Tobacco Nicotiana spp.


Tobacco, used as a sacred and medicinal herb, is an important part of Indian culture and folklore. Can be used as an organic insecticide (with appropriate caution). Approx. 0.1g/125 seeds per packet. Culture: Plant the tiny seeds in the spring, and cover with light sandy soil. Can be started indoors and transplanted. Plant 1 foot apart. Mountain Pima Seedsaving: An insect-pollinated annual, varieties will cross. Remove mature seedheads and crush capsules in a bag or on a tray. Use a fan or light breeze to remove chaff.

Isleta Pueblo N. rustica. From the pueblo south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Plants grow to 4.5, including flowers. H N006 Mountain Pima N. tabacum. Collected in the Mountain Pima region of western Chihuahua. It is commonly grown in plots or gardens around the house and used for smoking. Delicate pink-tinged flowers and huge leaves! H N010


Papante N. rustica. Tall plants (over 5) with large, deer-eared shaped leaves and large seed capsules. From Piedras Verdes, Sonora. H/L N008 Punche Mexicano N. rustica. From northern New Mexico, this tobacco was used by early Spanish settlers until the 1930s. H/L N001 San Juan Pueblo N. rustica. Traditionally grown by elders in small secluded patches. Leaves are used ceremonially. Plants have large leaves, are 4-5 tall, and have small, tubular yellow flowers. H N005 Santo Domingo Ceremonial N. rustica. A cultivated annual grown in irrigated gardens by various Puebloans. Used in rain ceremonies. H/L N003 Tarahumara El Cuervo N. rustica. From a very isolated area of Batopilas Canyon in Chihuahua. Smoked traditionally by older Tarahumarans. H/L N004 Tarahumara Wild N. rustica. Harvested from a stand of plants growing wild along the east side of the church in Cusarare, Chihuahua. L N007

Santa Domingo Ceremonial

Seed Libraries
Native Seeds/SEARCH recently opened Arizonas first seed library at our retail store. Seed libraries function similarly to book-lending libraries. People check out seeds for free, grow them in gardens, and keep a few plants in the ground to go to seed. Some of the saved seed is then returned to the library, ideally twice as much as was borrowed. As this process continues year after year, the seeds in the library become more productive and hardy because of selection and adaptation to local growing conditions. The library grows and the community becomes the stewards of its own genetic resources. This is what true sustainability and seed sovereignty looks like! Pima County Library System is now taking the lead and seed libraries will soon be available in libraries throughout the Tucson area. If you dont live near a seed library, start one! Visit to jump-start your communitys own seed library. above Seed cabinet handmade by a member of the Westcliffe County Seed Library in Colorado. Seed School graduates spearheaded the effort!



Physalis philadelphica


Tomatillos are the small green husk tomatoes used to make traditional and savory green salsas and stews. They are members of the Physalis genus, which includes ground cherries and Cape gooseberries. Approx. 0.1g/25 seeds per packet. Culture: In the spring, plant seeds directly in the garden 1/4 inch deep, or start indoors and transplant. Allow 15 inches between plants. Seedsaving: Flowers are both insect and self-pollinated, and varieties can cross. Grow only one variety at a time, or isolate plants. Tomatillos begin to ripen when they turn from green to light yellow. When the husk is dry and begins to split open at the bottom, the fruit can be harvested for seed. To remove seeds, mash and puree ripe fruit with water in blender. Allow the puree to stand 4-6 hours. Pulp will rise and seeds will sink. Ladle off pulp (add more water and flush out remaining pulp if needed). Spread seeds on a cloth and allow to dry.

Mountain Pima Husked fruit are small and plants are somewhat sprawling. Commonly used in salsa. H TM011 Tarahumara Small husked fruits grow wild in Tarahumara corn fields. Prolific plants can easily self-sow in the desert garden. Used to make salsa verde. H/L TM001 Tepehuan Small green fruits with husks on weedy plants. Collected in Nabogame, Chihuahua, a remote mountainous region. Our collectors were served these tasty fruits with their beans for breakfast. H/L TM002 Zuni The small sweet fruit has been semi-cultivated by the Zuni of northern New Mexico for more than a century. Can be roasted in an oven, then blended with garlic, onion, chile and cilantro as a hot sauce delicacy. H/L TM003



Tomato Solanum lycopersicum


Originally domesticated in the Andean region of South America, the modern cultural and nutritional importance of tomatoes worldwide is difficult to exaggerate. Approx. 0.1g/25 seeds per packet. Culture: In the spring, plant seeds directly in the garden 1/4inch deep, or start indoors and transplant. Allow 15 inches between plants. Seedsaving: Flowers are both insect and self-pollinated, and varieties can cross. Grow only one variety at a time, or isolate plants. To remove seeds, mash and puree ripe fruit with water in blender. Allow the puree to stand at least 4-6 hours, or up to a few days to allow fermentation to occur. Pulp will rise and seeds will sink. Ladle off pulp (add more water and flush out remaining pulp if needed). Spread seeds on a cloth and allow to dry. Ciudad Victoria
Ciudad Victoria S. lycopersicum var cerasiforme. A weedy, semi-cultivated tomato from dooryard gardens in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas. Small round, sweet fruit are late-maturing. H/L TM005



More Tomato


Nichols Heirloom These seeds were sent to us by the Nichols family in Tucson. Volunteer seeds that just kept coming up, they have been maintained by the family patriarch for about 50 years. It is well-adapted to the desert: heattolerant and prefers full sunlight. These tasty pink cherry tomatoes are prolific producers. H/L TM014 Prescott Heirloom Given to us by a member of a family that had lived for many generations in Prescott, Arizona. The fruit are large, red, oval and quite fleshy. The thick flesh suggests that they may be good for canning. H TM013 Punta Banda Collected on the Punta Banda Peninsula in Baja California. Plants produce hundreds of red, meaty, thick-skinned fruits despite heat, water stress and poor soil. Great paste tomato. H/L TM007 Texas Wild Cherry All that we really know is that seed of this tomato was collected from a patch of apparantly wild tomatoes in southern Texas. Sprawling plants produce tons of small, tasty, cherry-type tomatoes. H/L TM012

Nichols Heirloom

Punta Banda

More Tomato



Flamenco Exciting new open-pollinated tomato for the Southwest. Flamenco is a cross between Silvery Fir Tree for earliness and feathery foliage, and Floridade for heat and disease resistance. The result is a semi-determinate 4 bush loaded with highly flavored 2 red, round fruits. Continues to produce in hot weather when others stop. Thank you Larry Sallee, Albuquerque. Approx. 0.1g/25 seeds per packet. TS340

Watermelon Citrullus lanatus


An African native introduced by the Spanish to Mexico, watermelon seed was rapidly traded northward, reaching the Colorado River delta area before the Spaniards. Fruits vary in size and color of flesh and rind. Seeds are eaten and used for their oil. 1.5g/15 seeds per packet. Culture: In the spring, plant seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep, 3 seeds per basin, allowing ample room for vines. Plants need a long growing season. Seedsaving: An insect-pollinated annual. Varieties will cross. Male and female flowers develop on each plant, and pollen must be transferred from a male to female for fruit set. Ripe fruits have a hollow sound when tapped and a yellowing patch on the bottom. Also look for dried tendrils next to the stem. Scoop out seeds of fully ripe fruit, wash thoroughly and dry.


Acoma Collected at Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico. Has rounded to slightly elongated fruit with pale to dark green skin. Red-meated. H G012


Hopi Red Kawayvatnga. This was NS/Ss first watermelon collection made at New Oraibi on Third Mesa. Fruit are round to oblong, have light to dark green skins and pink to red flesh. A few yellow-fleshed ones show up now and again. H/L G001

More Watermelon


Hopi Yellow Sikyatko. The green-striped fruit have pale yellow/orange flesh. Large fruit with crisp, sweet taste. H/L G002 Mayo Originally collected from Mayo farmers in Los Capomos, Sinaloa. Prolific vines produce small melons of various colors in the hot summer. H/L G005 Mayo Sandia Small red-fleshed melons from Piedras Verdes in Sonora. H/L G006 Navajo Red Seeded A sweet, good-tasting watermelon with red fruit, light red flesh and red seeds. H/L G009 Navajo Winter Round, pale green fruits with slight striping. Pale pink to red flesh. From Shiprock area. H G011 San Juan Fruit are sweet and vary from light to dark green with solid or striped skin, yellow to red flesh and white to black seeds. Collected from an elder in San Juan Pueblo. Very productive. H G008 Tohono Oodham Yellow-Meated A high yielder of green oval fruit with sweet and crisp yellow to orange flesh. Fruit can be up to 35 lb. Originally collected at Queenswell, Arizona. Stunningly delicious a staff favorite. L G003

Navajo Red-Seeded

Tohono Oodham Yellow-Meated

Wheat Triticum aestivum


A native of the Old World, wheat was introduced to the southwestern U.S. by Father Kino as he moved north from Sonora establishing the missionary trail. For the Gila River Pima, wheat filled an otherwise empty winter planting season and rounded out the annual crop cycle with a third growing period. It became such an important crop among the Akimel Oodham that it quickly replaced maize as the basic crop. Traditionally, wheat was roasted and ground to make pinole or stretched into thin wheat flour tortillas (chemait). Wheat berries are also cooked with teparies to make poshol. Approx. 28g/700 seeds per packet. Culture: Plant in December through January. Broadcast and rake in seed, then lightly pat soil. If birds are a problem, cover very thinly with straw and sticks. Keep moist until sprouted. Seedsaving: A self-pollinating annual. Birds love to eat the ripe seeds, so protection may be necessary. Harvest when dry, strip stems or walk on seedheads to remove seeds and winnow off chaff.

Pima Club

White Sonora
Pima Club At one time grown by the Pima on the Gila River Reservation. Seed heads are short, beardless and club-shaped (flattened). White kernels are soft and produce flour used for cookies and pastry. H/L WH003 White Sonora A beardless spring wheat. The compact head is medium long, with a soft kernel. Originally brought into the U.S. from Magdalena Mission in northern Sonora, where it has been grown since around 1770. Common among the Pima and Yuma after 1820. Responsible for the development of the flour tortilla. H/L WH001


Arugula Eruca sativa


Culture: Provide nitrogen-rich soil. (Add extra compost or chicken manure, if needed.) Water consistently in hot weather. Does exceptionally well under mesquite. Seed Saving: Flowers are perfect, most of which cannot be selfpollinated. The stigma becomes receptive before the flower opens, and pollen is shed hours after the flower opens. Necessary cross-pollination is performed by bees. Separate varieties by at least 14 mile.
Arugula Favored by gourmets. Treasured by nutritionists. Bushy, 1-2 plant. Wonderful, peppery, distinct flavor. Grow year-round fresh greens in the desert. Cold and heat tolerant. Easy to grow. Approx. 1g/55 seeds per packet. TS134



Beta vulgaris


Culture: Transplanting not recommended. Beets prefer deep, rich, well-composted soil with trace minerals and plenty of sun. For larger, more uniform roots, thin to 1 plant every 4 inches. Companion plants include onions. Plants 65 ft. row or 16 sq. ft. bed. Seed Saving: Flowers contain both male and female parts, but do not self-pollinate before flowers open. As pollen is carried long distances by wind, grow seeds for only one variety at a time. Note: beets will cross with Swiss chard.
Detroit Red A true heirloom dating back to 1892. The standard in canned beets for more than 100 years. Does surprisingly well in the desert. Deepred 3 globes store well. Delicious, 12-15 dark-green tops. Approx. 4 g/58 seeds per packet. TS025

Detroit Red

Broccoli Brassica oleracea


Culture: Demands soil high in nitrogen and phosphorus. Companion plants include dill, chamomile, sage, peppermint, beets and onions. Dislikes tomatoes. Plants 150 ft. row or 125 sq. ft. bed. Seed Saving: Although broccoli flowers contain both female and male parts, individual plants do not self-fertilize. Provide at least two or more flowering plants to assure seed formation. Since bees can cross-pollinate with other brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, kale and brussels sprouts), isolation distances should be 1,000 yards or more.
Waltham 29 Delicious, dependable broccoli bred to withstand the especially cold weather now more common in winter desert gardens. Short 20 plants produce medium-large heads and lots of side shoots. Approx. 0.5g/69 seeds per packet. TS033

Waltham 29


Cabbage Brassica oleracea


Culture: Demands soil high in nitrogen and phosphorus. Companion plants include dill, chamomile, sage, peppermint, beets, onions. Dislikes tomatoes. Plants 150 ft. row or 125 sq. ft. bed. Seed Saving: Although cabbage flowers contain both female and male parts, individual plants do not self-fertilize. Provide at least two or more flowering plants to assure seed formation. Since bees can cross-pollinate broccoli with other brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, kale and brussels sprouts), isolation distances should be 1,000 yards or more.

Golden Acre

Golden Acre One of our favorite cabbages for winter desert gardens. Solid, round, 3-4 lb. grey-green heads on short-stemmed, erect plants. White interior with tightly folded leaves. High yields. Approx. 0.5g/76 seeds per packet. TS058 Red Acre Beautiful, red version of the famous golden acre with larger, 2-3 lb. heads. Red Acre takes 2 weeks more to mature, but stores better and longer in root cellars or refrigerators. Approx. 0.5g/76 seeds per packet. TS059

Red Acre

Carrot Daucus carota

prices as listed

Culture: Carrots do best in rich (high in phosphorus and potassium with only moderate levels of nitrogen), uncompacted soil. Plants 180 ft. row or 25 sq. ft. bed. Seed Saving: Carrots are biennial with perfect flowers (each flower has both male and female parts). As insects are a major pollinating agent, separate different varieties at least 100 yards if some crossing is tolerable. Dragon
Dragon A striking carrot variety that produces 7 long, broad-shouldered carrots with bright purple skin and orange interior. The best flavor of all purple varieties and the most refined. An excellent keeper. Bred by John Navazio, Organic Seed Alliance. 70-80 days. Available after March 1. Approx. 1g/500 seeds per packet. $2.95 TS062 Kinko 6 We have yet to find a better open-pollinated carrot than the original Kinko. First to mature; best performance in tough soil! Short, tapered roots are crisp and flavorful. Deep, red-orange. Approx. 2g/55 seeds per packet. $3.95 TS060 Scarlet Nantes A timeless heirloom favorite. Bright-orange, very sweet, slightly tapered, 6-7 roots with characteristic nantes rounded tip. A good keeper. Excellent for juice. Approx. 2g/65 seeds per packet. $2.45 TS061

Kinko 6

Find more seeds from our new Tucson Seed line at


Cauliflower Brassica oleracea


Culture: Demands soil high in nitrogen and phosphorus. Companion plants include dill, chamomile, sage, peppermint, beets, onions. Dislikes tomatoes. Plants 150 ft. row or 125 sq. ft. bed. Seed Saving: Although cabbage flowers contain both female and male parts, individual plants do not self-fertilize. Provide at least two or more flowering plants to assure seed formation. Since bees can cross-pollinate cauliflower with other brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, kale and brussels sprouts), isolation distances should be 1,000 yards or more.
Early Snowball The best available open-pollinated variety for home gardens! Good leaves to tie for protection. Short stems, deep white heads and fine texture. Approx. 0.5g/65 seeds per packet. TS073

Early Snowball

Cucumber Cucumis sativus


Culture: Cucumbers prefer direct sun and warm growing conditions. Plant in rich, warm, not necessarily deep, soil. Companion plants include sunflowers, corn, peas, beans, radishes. Dislikes aromatic herbs and potatoes. Plants 40 ft. row or 35 sq. ft. bed. Seed Saving: Cucumbers produce separate male and female flowers. Females can be recognized by their ovaries which look like small cucumbers inside the blossoms. Unless hand-pollinating techniques are used, bees are primary pollinating agents. Provide at least 1/4 mile between different varieties.
SMR 58 The best open-pollinated pickling cucumber. 6 Resistant to scab . spot rot and cucumber mosaic. Approx. 1g/58 seeds per packet. TS316 Marketmore 76 Consistently produces 8-9 slicing cucumbers through hot and cool weather! Disease resistant. Approx. 1g/76 seeds per packet. TS315

SMR 58

Kale Brassica oleracea


Culture: Kale is one of the most dependable sources for vitamins and minerals, summer or winter. Approx. 1/2 g/150 seeds per packet. Plants 150 ft. row or 125 sq. ft. bed. Seed Saving: Although cabbage flowers contain both female and male parts, individual plants do not self-fertilize. Provide at least two or more flowering plants to assure seed formation. Since bees can cross-pollinate kale with other brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts), isolation distances should be 1,000 yards or more.
Red Russian Dark green oak leaf cut leaves, may be richer in vitamins and minerals than other greens. Red and purple hues intensify after fall frosts, giving way to tender and sweet rich dark green kale when cooked. Also good raw. Very disease resistant. Approx. 0.5g/55 seeds per packet. TS105

Red Russian


Leek Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum


Culture: Prefers well-drained, rich soil, high in organic matter. Water frequently, especially during dry spells. Companion plants include beets, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, chamomile. Dislikes peas, beans. Plants 65 ft. row or 40 sq. ft. bed. Seed Saving: Leeks produce perfect flowers, yet require cross pollination. Stigmas in each flower become receptive only after its own pollen is shed. Crosses can and does occur between flowers on the same plant, mostly by bees. Separate from other flowering Allium of the same species at least 1,000 feet for satisfactory results.
King Richard This remarkable, regal, frost-hardy leek comes from Holland. King Richard produces 12 long stems, topped with upright, green-blue leaves. Mild enough for use in salads. Approx. 0.5g/75 seeds per packet. TS110

King Richard

Lettuce Lactuca sativa


Culture: Water lettuce at base to avoid rot. Stagger plantings every 10 days, planting smaller amounts more often as weather becomes hot. For full heads, thin to 8 inches. Companion plants include carrots, radishes. Plants 600 ft. row or 200 sq. ft. bed. Seed Saving: Lettuce produces perfect yellow flowers on tall, bushy seed stalks. Since flowers self-pollinate, there is less chance of cross-pollination between varieties. For purity, separate at least 25 yards with other crops.
Buttercrunch Bibb Butterhead Dark-green leaves form small, compact rosettes around yellow, blanched hearts. Sweet and crisp leaves have a rich buttery flavor and texture. Approx. 1g/50 seeds per packet. TS125 Summertime Crisphead A reliable offering for crisp heads even after summer temperatures begin to rise. No bitterness. Approx. 1g/70 seeds per packet. TS233 Black-Seeded Simpson Looseleaf Sets the standard by which to measure all looseleafs. Large, light-green, broad, frilled leaves with exceptionally crisp, fresh flavor. Approx. 1g/42 seeds per packet. TS120 Oakleaf Loosefleaf Originally, all lettuce produced oak-shaped leaves. This timeless heirloom has been listed in seed catalogs for generations because of its tender, thin, delicious leaves. Bolt resistant strain. Approx. 1g/46 seeds per packet. TS122 Red Saladbowl Looseleaf The beauty, flavor and tenderness of Saladbowl with solid red color, fuller head and slightly more compact shape. Delicious. Withstands hot weather as well as the green saladbowl. Excellent flavor! Approx. 1g/50 seeds per packet. TS127 Cimarron Romaine Our best selling romaine! Add to salads color along with the unmistakable texture of a delicious romaine. Broad, flat, crisp leaves range from dark red to bronze. Approx. 1g/60 seeds per packet. TS124

Oakleaf Looseleaf

Red Saladbowl Looseleaf

Cimarron Romaine


Parsnip Pastinata sativa


Culture: Overwinters without protection in most areas. Provide moderately rich soil. Keep moist until germination takes place in 3 weeks. Plants 50 ft. row or 30 sq. ft. bed. Seed Saving: Parsnips are hardy biennials that produce perfect flowers cross-pollinated by a number of insects. Separate different varieties at least 1/2 mile to ensure purity. Harris Model
Harris Model The best strain of this timeless favorite. Sweet, nutty flavor. Produces smooth, tapered, 10-12 roots. Mulch and leave in the ground through the winter for early spring harvest. They taste even sweeter after a frost. Approx. 2g/120 seeds per packet. TS170

Radicchio Cichorium intybus


Culture: Water frequently and plentifully. After heads begin to form, avoid top watering during hot part of the day. Mulching with straw or leaves during cold spells will prolong endive's productive season. Companion plants include carrots, radishes. Seed Saving: Although chicory flowers are perfect, they do not self-pollinate. Insects perform cross-pollination. Isolate different varieties by 1/2 mile to ensure purity. Pollen from escarole and frisee, C. endivia, will contaminate C. intybus and must also be isolated. Wild chicory will cross and should be eliminated.
Palla Rossa Tardiva (Non-forcing) Beautiful, bright red and white gourmet salad vegetable, similar to head lettuce. Softball to bowling ballsized heads. Sweetens in the cool weather of spring and fall. Harvest all winter in southern latitudes. Approx. 0.5g/350 seeds per packet. TS086

Palla Rossa Tardiva

Radish Raphanus sativus

prices as listed

Culture: Radishes love cool weather. Plant early and often. Provide shade in summer. Companion plants include cucumbers, peas, cabbage, lettuce, nasturtiums. Dislikes hyssop. Plants 12 ft. row or 8 sq. ft. Seed Saving: Radishes produce annual flowers which require pollination by insects, primarily bees. Satisfactory results for home gardeners require no more that 250 feet of separation. Separate different varieties by at least 1/2 mile to ensure purity. Champion
Champion Exceptionally sweet flavor! Perfectly round red radishes. Pure white interior stays crisp and doesnt get hot even when large. Ideal for extra early harvest. Plant every 2 weeks for continuous supply. Approx. 4g/250 seeds per packet. $2.45 TS190 Easter Egg Delicious champion class radish bred to produce a full range of red, pink, purple and white radishes. Wonderful for childrens gardens. 25 Days. Approx. 4g/250 seeds per packet. $2.95 TS191


Spinach Spinacia oleracae


Culture: Provide moist, fertile soil. Water frequently, especially during dry spells. To assure a season-long supply, plant every 2 weeks. Plants 120 ft. row or 40 sq. ft. Seed Saving: Spinach is dioecious with male and female flowers on separate plants. Flowers are wind-pollinated by spinachs dust-like, powdery pollen which can be carried for miles.
Bloomsdale Long Standing Heirloom treasure introduced in 1826. Sweet, rich flavor and good texture have assured its popularity. Tender, large, thick, crinkled, deep-green leaves on upright stems. Slow to bolt.Approx. 4g/42 seeds per packet. TS200

Bloomsdale Long-Standing

Swiss Chard Beta vulgaris ssp. cicla


Culture: Transplanting not recommended. Prefers deep, rich, wellcomposted soil, but tolerate average soil, if provided enough trace minerals and sun. Companion plants include onions. Dislikes pole beans. Plants 40 ft. row or 60 sq. ft. Seed Saving: Flowers contain both male and female parts, but do not self-pollinate before flowers open. As pollen is carried long distances by wind, grow seeds for only one variety at a time. Note: Swiss chard will cross with beets.

Rainbox Mix

Rainbow Mix Beautiful mix of colors. Dark-green, savoyed leaves. Enlarged stems with crisp and delicate flavor. Plant early and often. Approx. 4g/50 seeds per packet. TS211

Turnip Brassica campestris

prices as listed

Culture: Turnips grow in wide variety of soils but produce best in rich, loam. Water sufficiently, not allowing soil to dry out. Companion plants include peas. Plants 80 ft. row or 30 sq. ft. Seed Saving: Produces perfect flowers, most of which cannot be self-pollinated. Cross-pollination is performed mostly by bees.
Purple Top White Globe Large, sweet turnip. White below soil line and purple above! Selected for cold northern climates! Delicious greens. The standard turnip for cold climates. Approx. 1g/50 seeds per packet. $2.45 TS220 White Egg Egg-shaped, round white roots. Ideal for early market bunching. Very sweet and mild fresh from the garden! 45 Days. Approx. 1g/400 seeds per packet. $2.95 TS223

Purple Top White Globe


Desert Wildflower Seeds

Most desert wildflowers are planted in fall/winter in the desert, early spring in cooler climates. Planting instructions are included on the packets of these lovely native southwestern desert wildflowers. Small packets cover approx. 30 sq. feet; large packets, 100-200 sq. feet, depending on seed variety. Visit for more seed varieties! Lupine Lupinus succulentus. Beautiful spikes of violet-blue, pea-like blooms. Plant fall to early spring. $2/pkt or $12/0.5oz DW004 Mexican Evening Primrose Oenothera speciosa. Low growing perennial with bright pink, cup-shaped flowers. Plant anytime. $2/pkt DW009WS Blue Flax Linum lewisii. Perennial herb blooms sky blue with 5 petals from April to September. Used for fiber. Plant fall to spring. $2/pkt DW030WS Brittlebush Encelia farinosa. Perennial shrub, blooms with yellow composite flowers in early spring. Sap from stems was used to make a burnable incense. $2/pkt DW031NS Colored Globemallow Sphaeralcea ambigua. This multi-stemmed mallow is a good source of pollen and nectar for honey bees. Plants are usually 2-4 tall with blooms in shades of pink and lavender. Plant fall to early spring. $2/pkt or $12/oz DW052 Desert Blue Bells Phacelia campanularia. Low growing, blue-violet flowers with yellow stamens look like little bells. Plant fall to early spring. $2/pkt DW010WS Desert Marigold Baileya multiradiata. Lemon yellow flowers on long stems with gray green foliage. Blooms mainly in the spring and after summer rains. Plant fall to early spring. $2/pkt or $12/oz DW012 Firecracker Penstemon Penstemon eatoni. Bright red flowers that attract hummingbirds. Will bloom March through July depending on water. Plant early fall to winter. $2/pkt DW024WS Firewheel Gaillardia pulchella. Firewheel has 2 diameter daisy-like flowers that are deep red with yellow tips. Blooms March through September. Plant in fall. $2/pkt DW020WS Members, volunteers and supporters stomp beans at the NS/S Conservation Farm. Mexican Gold Poppy Eschscholtzia mexicana. The most popular, most photographed golden desert wildflower. Plant fall to early spring. $2/pkt or $12/oz DW003 Mexican Hats Ratibida columnaris. The colorful 1.5 sombrero-shaped flowers generally appear April to November. Easily grown from seed. Plant fall to early spring. $2/pkt DW022WS Owls Clover Orthocarpus purpurascens. Showy 6 tall spikes of red-purple flowers from March to May. Difficult to germinate, but once established it easily reseeds. Best sown with grasses or other wildflowers. Plant fall to winter. $2/pkt DW023WS Palmers Penstemon Penstemon palmeri. Beautiful white flowers tinged with pink or lilac. Has a delicate, inviting fragrance. Grows in washes and along roadsides at 3,500-6,000. Plant fall to early spring. $2/pkt DW006WS Parrys Penstemon Penstemon parryi. A favorite of hummingbirds, this tall perennial has rose colored, bell shaped flowers. Plant fall to early spring. $2/pkt or $12/0.5oz DW005


Desert Wildflower Blends

Catalina Foothills These 17 varieties are native to the beautiful desert near Tucson and include many in the Sonoran Desert Mix plus Dyssodia, Blue Flax, Goldeneye, Paperflower and Blue Trumpets. Plant fall to early spring. $2/pkt DW002WS Cut Flower Wildflower Mix Fifteen wildflowers perfect for cutting but also beautiful in your yard. Includes Scarlet Sage, Firewheel, Larkspur, Purple Coneflower and more. Plant fall to early spring. $2/pkt DW016WS For the Birds & Bees Wildflower Mix Especially chosen to attract birds, butterflies, bees & Sphinx Moths. Includes Blackfoot Daisy, Desert Sunflower, Butterfly Weed, Rocky Mt. Bee Plant, Penstemon and more. Plant fall to early spring. $2/pkt DW017WS Great Basin Wildflower Mix Especially mixed for Prescott, Payson, southern Utah, Santa Fe, and similar habitat. Contains 13 different wildflowers including Buttonroot Snakeweed, Purple Coneflower, and Mexican Hats. $2/pkt DW025WS Mogollon Rim Wildflower Mix For Flagstaff and locations above Arizonas Mogollon Rim. Best at elevations of 6500-9000. The different wildflowers include Goldpea, Locoweed and Tall Verbena. (Locoweed not recommended in livestock areas.) $2/pkt DW026WS

Old Town Tucson Wildflowers Thirteen beautiful wildflowers commonly found growing in central Tucson. Cultivation instructions included. One ounce covers approx. 200 sq. feet. $2/1.5gm or $12/oz DW051 Sonoran Desert Mix A spectacular mix of 14 species of annuals and perennials native to the Sonoran Desert. Includes Mexican Poppy, Owls Clover, Desert & Arroyo Lupine, and Penstemon. Plant fall to early spring. $2/pkt DW001WS Sonoran Summer Blend Eighteen wildflowers including Trailing Windmills, Sacred Datura, Dyssodia, Firewheel, Summer Poppy, Lemon Mint, Desert Four OClock, and more. Plant January to July. $2/pkt DW018WS

Members & Volunteers

The members and volunteers who support Native Seeds/SEARCH are the lifeblood of our organization. For 29 years, they have graciously contributed their energy, ideas, time and, of course, money to help us in our mission to change the face of regional agriculture. Without their vital assistance, our work would not be possible. This partnership is based on a common vision of a more biologically diverse, ecologically sustainable, and culturally rich world. The convictions and connections we share are essential to who we areas an organization, and as a human family. We need each other. We need the precious seeds, cultivated by indigenous farmers over thousands of years, that Native Seeds/SEARCH stewards. And we need to share this life-giving bounty with the world. Together, we can achieve this shared vision to create a more abundant and beautiful future for generations to come.

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Availability of many of our food products fluctuate with the seasons. For the most up-to date information please visit

Chile Powders & Flakes

Our chiles are packed in either glass bottles or sealed plastic bags. Please specify size or heat where necessary!!
Ancho A mild, sweet earthy taste, this powder is used mostly in sauces. particularly moles. Very versatile. 2oz bottle $5 SPB100 4oz pkg $6 BSP110 Chiltepines These wild chiles are small, round and very fiery. Crumble 4 to 5 in hot stir-fry, chili, or anything you want to spice up. A tasty surprise in ice cream! Picked by community members of a small village in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Sonora, Mexico. 1oz bottle $7 SPB140 Chipotle Chile Flakes Great sprinkled on vegetables or pizza or simmered with a pot of your favorite beans. Produced by grinding whole chipotles. Try adding them to favorite cookie or muffin mix for a fiery twist. 2oz bottle $5 SPB120 4oz pkg $6 BSP130 Chipotle Chile Powder. Smoked jalapeos ground into a powder. Heavenly aroma and flavor. Medium hot. 2oz bottle $5 SPB130 4oz pkg $6 BSP120 Del Arbol For a truly spicy red chile use the fiery powder from this pungent little chile. 2oz bottle $5 SPB150 4oz pkg $6 BSP140 Guajillo (wha-hee-oh) Called mirasol, looking at the sun, in the green stage. Flavor is distinct, slightly fruity with a strong piney berry under taste. Used to both flavor and color dishes. Deep brick red color. Preferred by many chefs. Mildly hot. 2oz bottle $5 SPB170 4oz pkg $6 BSP160 Habanero This powder is the hottest of the hot. Behind the heat is a fruity flavor that makes these chiles a wonderful way to spark up a dish but can be used sparingly. You might want to open a window before opening the packet. 2oz bottle $7 SPB180 4oz pkg $10 BSP170 Hatch From the chile capitol of the world, Hatch, New Mexico. Made from the finest red varieties. Choose Mild or Hot (if not specified, we will send mild). Mild 2oz bottle $5 SPB200 4oz pkg $6 BSP190 Hot 2oz bottle $5 SPB190 4oz pkg $6 BSP180 Hot Green Flakes. These chiles are from hot green chiles from New Mexico that are roasted, dried and crushed to produce a very spicy flake. Sprinkle onto a hot or cold dish for a little flare!! 2oz pkg only! $4 BSP150

Jalapeo For the chile head and the brave, this fiery green powder comes from the intense Jalapeo pepper. 2oz bottle $5 SPB210 4oz pkg $6 BSP200 Negro Pasilla This pasilla has a rich, complex, deep, smoky, herbal, raisin flavor. Used in a variety of dishes, including moles. 2oz bottle $5 SPB240 4oz pkg $6 BSP230 Santa Cruz Grown in Tumacacori, Arizona within sight of our Wild Chile Botanical Reserve from chile varieties unique to Santa Cruz. Choose Mild or Hot (if not specified, we will send mild). Mild 2oz bottle $5 SPB260 4oz pkg $6 BSP250 Hot 2oz bottle $5 SPB250 4oz pkg $6 BSP240

Mole Powders
These incredible blends of flavor are just what your kitchen needs to easily bring the unique flavors of the Southwest to your cooking. Mole usually refers to a sublime blend of chiles, spices and fruits to make a sauce served over chicken, fish or perhaps iguana. Please specify size and price:
A 2oz tin $9 or B 4oz bag $13 Adobo. Chiles, sesame seed, spices, garlic, corn tortilla meal, mexican brown sugar, onion, salt and mexican oregano. FD140 Dulce. Mexican chocolate (sugar, cacao nibs, soy lecithin, cinnamon flavor),raisins, chile, almonds, corn tortilla meal, banana, graham crackers, spices, mexican brown sugar, salt, garlic and onion. FD137 Pipian rojo. This blend contains: chile, pumpkin seed, almonds, corn tortilla meal, spices, mexican brown sugar, salt, garlic, sesame seed and onion. FD139 Verde. This one contains: pumpkin seed (green), sesame seed, green chiles, cilantro, salt, garlic, spices, onion, parsley, and epazote. FD138


Bean supplies remain inconsistent. Substitutions may be necessary.
Anasazi Beautiful maroon and white mottled Jacobs cattle bean. Cooks quickly with a creamy texture and rich flavor. Great in soups and stews, may cook a bit more quickly than other beans. $4/lb FD060 Bolita Delicious round beans in shades of beige and tan, grown for centuries by the traditional Hispanic communities of northern New Mexico. Make wonderful refried beans. $4/lb FD067 Brown Tepary A delicious nutty flavor and firm texture recommend this drought-adapted desert domesticate. Use to make a wonderful salad or pat. $4/lb FD261B Christmas Lima This heirloom bean was popular in the early 1900s. They retain their burgundy and white color when cooked. A nutty, chestnut flavor consistent with a lima. Make wonderful casseroles or salads. $5/lb FD220
YUM! Scarlet runner beans!

Four Corners Gold A rich gold colored bean mottled with a little white, originate in the Four Corners area. Cooks quickly. $4/lb FD062 Moon Nice fruity flavor that keep their markings when cooked. Very popular in Europe. $4/lb FD214 Scarlet Runner These large beans with black flecks are eaglery awaited by all who have tried them. Their unusual size along with a creamy texuture and slightly chestnut flavor make them one of our favorite beans. $4/lb FD039 White Tepary These preferred beans of the Tohono Oodham people, who reside in the Tucson region, have a slightly sweet flavor. A firm texture makes them wonderful in salads or stews. $4/lb FD261W Yellow Indian Woman Originally brought to Montana by a Swedish family, the Yellow Indian Woman Bean is a rare heirloom bean that is now found in Native American communities in Montana. When cooked, it is creamy and resembles the flavor of Pinto and Black beans. It is ideal for slow-cooked dishes. $4/lb FD117

Grains, Meals, Corn & More

Amaranth, Organic Popped Organic grain Amaranth is heated in a little oil until popped. Great as a snack or as a topping for salads. May also be added to pancakes, muffins, breads or other baked goods. 4oz pkg $5 NWA002 Amaranth, Organic Whole Grain Ancient grain of the Aztecs and greater southwestern peoples. Delicious nutty taste. Contains significant amounts of protein, iron, calcium, and phosphorus while being low in fat. Can be ground to produce a gluten-free meal. Recipes included. $5/lb NWA001 Chia Seeds A nutritious seed that contains fiber, helpful in blood sugar regulation. A fabulous source of omega-3s, youll notice how much more energy you have with regular use. Traditionally used in the southwest mixed with water to extend endurance. Can be used to gel fruit salad or to thicken salad dressings. Please specify: 4oz $4 8oz $8 1lb $12 FD080 Mesquite Meal This mesquite meal is finely ground with a fruity, caramel-like flavor. Its a good source of calcium, manganese, potassium, iron, and zinc. A great food for diabetics because of its ability to assist in stabilizing blood sugar. Recipe sheet included. Please specify: 4oz $4 8oz $7 16oz $13 FD017 Parched Corn Made from yellow, blue and red corns grown by the people of Santa Ana Pueblo in Bernalillo, New Mexico. Parched in a cast-iron kettle without oil for a healthy, crunchy and uniquely southwestern snack. 4oz pkg $2.50 FD069 Posole, Blue Corn Treated with lime to remove the hulls, this posole comes from a small farm in New Mexico. Delicious with beans or alone and you wont believe the color of the broth! $6/lb FD047 Posole, White Corn Treated with lime to remove the hulls, this posole is actually more yellow in color and is delicious in stews, soups or on its own. $6/lb FD043 Cornmeal, Tamaya Blue Finely ground cornmeal flour produced and packaged by Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico; they also grew the corn! 12oz pkg $5 FD009 Corn Atole Flour, Tamaya Blue Called atole, this cornmeal is toasted and finely ground for cooking like creamed wheat. It can also be used in any cornmeal recipe for a toasted flavor. 12oz pkg $5 FD025


A Tradition of Seedsaving Continues

The Sonoran Desert has been home to the Oodham people for centuries. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they perfected a system of agriculture including a palette of crops suited to the high temperatures and minimal rainfall characteristic of the region. As late as 1925 the Tohono Oodham were cultivating 10,000 acres of their aridlandadapted crops with traditional floodwater methods. In the early 1980s, only a few scattered plots remained. Recognition of this dramatic loss in availability of crops adapted to the harsh environmental conditions of the region resulted in the establishment of Native Seeds/SEARCH (Southwestern Endangered Aridlands Resource Clearing House) as a regionally-based seed conservation organization. Early efforts focused primarily on visiting indigenous farming communities in the southwestern US and northwestern Mexico, particularly the Sierra Madre, locating seeds of heirloom crops and making them available to indigenous and other gardeners and farmers. Today, NS/S is a major regional seed bank, dedicated to conserving the seeds of domesticated crops and crop wild relatives utilized by the cultures whose homelands include the arid deserts, coastal deltas, lowland plains, bajadas

(lower slopes) and high mountain plateaus comprising the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. Our Seed Bank maintains more than 1,800 different accessions representative of traditional crops grown by Apache, Akimel Oodham, Chemehuevi, Cocopah, Guarijio, Havasupai, Hopi, Maricopa, Mayo, Mestizo, Mexican, Mexican-American, Mojave, Mormon, Mountain Pima, Navajo, Paiute, Puebloan, Spanish missionaries and explorers, Tarahumara, Tohono Oodham, Yoeme, and other early inhabitants within the region. We are grateful for and indebted to these original seedsavers for their contributions in developing and passing on the agricultural biodiversity of our region. Please see pages 1011 for more information about the native peoples of the Greater Southwest.


Seed Policy for Native American Peoples

Native Seeds/SEARCH offers free membership and limited quantities of free seeds from our collection (not including Tucson Seed varieties or wildflowers) to Native peoples living in the Greater Southwest region (see map on page 62).

When ordering seeds

A Native American does not have to be a Native Seeds/SEARCH member to receive free seeds. Please check the information on pages 59 and in the Culture and Seedsaving sections under each crop heading in the Seedlisting to help with your seed selection. Fill out the order form on the back and make certain to identify your tribal affiliation. Please, only one order form per household. Call us if you need assistance: 520.622.0830 x113. Shipping charges must be paid on all orders.

For Native Americans living in the Greater Southwest region or belonging to tribes within the Southwest Region
Greg Peterson from the Urban Farm & Jonah Hill from Hopi at Seed School.

Free seed on a total of 30 regular-priced packets in a calendar year (January through December) with a limit of 3 packets per variety (e.g., 3 packets of ZS142 Guarijio sweet corn, 3 packets of PC100 Taos Red bean up to a total of 30); additional seed packets can be purchased at half price. Group exceptions may be considered. Please contact us and we will do our best to meet your needs.

For Native Americans living outside of the Greater Southwest region

Half-price seed on up to 30 regular-priced packets in a calendar year (January through December) with a limit of 3 packets per variety (e.g., 3 packets of ZS142 Guarijio sweet corn, 3 packets of PC100 Taos Red bean up to a total of 30); additional packets can be purchased at regular price.

Community Seed Grant

Native American communities or organizations may also request seed donations through our Community Seed Grant program (see page 7).

Nicole Pino from Navajo Technical College in New Mexico.


Important Ordering Information

Please put quantity ordered, item number and item name on order form. Keep a copy of your order. If you have any missing items or problems, it helps if you can identify your order. Please retain your catalog for reference.

Our website now accepts international orders!

International customers are responsible for determining the import regulations for his/her own country. We are unable to offer phytosanitary certificates. We accept checks or money orders drawn on U.S. banks. For your own safety, please do not send cash. Our website accepts PayPal. We accept credit card orders (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover/Novus) by mail, fax, our secure website, and in our store. Our fax number, 520.622.5591, is available 24 hours a day.

Shipping & Handling Charges

Handling Charge
U.S. Orders $5.95 Canada/Mexico $8.95

Shipping for seed packets

No additional charge

Additional shipping for food products (subject to change)

All shipping is done by UPS Ground unless otherwise requested. 1 lb. .. $3.00 2 lbs. $3.88 3 lbs. $4.30 4 lbs. $4.78 5 lbs. $5.09 6 lbs. $5.28 7 lbs. $5.49 8 lbs. $5.65 9 lbs. $5.83 10 lbs. $6.08

2nd Day Air: Add $20.00 to regular shipping charge. 3-Day Select: Add $10.00 to regular shipping charge. Alaska & Hawaii: Triple regular shipping charges. International Orders: Ask.


Catalog Order Form

send orders to: Native Seeds/SEARCH, 3584 E. River Road, Tucson AZ 85718 fax: 520.622.5591 online at our secure website:
Full Name _____________________________________________ Street Address _____________________________________________ Shipping Address (if different): Full Name _______________________________________

2012 Seedlisting

City/State/Zip _____________________________________________ Street Address _______________________________________ Daytime Phone _____________________________________________ Email _____________________________________________ City _______________________________________ State/Zip _______________________________________

J Is this a gift? Let us know what to put on the card! (in 20 words or less)
Item Name/No. Quantity Unit Price Amount

Please read IMPORTANT ORDERING INFORMATION on page 64 for details about shipping your order.

SUBTOTAL 1 ___________ Are you a NS/S member? Dont forget your 10% discount! ___________ Handling (All orders) $5.95 ____

Shipping for food products (see page 64) ___________ Your donations help our conservation efforts how bout rounding up? ___________ TOTAL enclosed: ___________

Payment method
H Check H Money order H Visa H MasterCard H American Express H Discover/Novus Exp.: _ _ / _ _ Card no.: _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _

Cardholder signature: __________________________________________________________________

Sow the Seeds of Conservation

Join Native Seeds/SEARCH, renew your membership, or, give a gift membership and contribute to our work conserving, distributing, and documenting the adapted and diverse varieties of agricultural seeds, their wild relatives and the role these seeds play in cultures of the American Southwest and northwest Mexico.

Join, Renew, or Donate online at, or, fill out this form and mail with payment to Native Seeds/SEARCH, 3584 E. River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718.





J Please do not exchange my name with like-minded organizations.

Membership Levels (check one)

J Squash $30 J Gourd $50 J Bean $100 J Chile $250 J Corn $500 J Sunflower Guild $1,000 J Native American* within Greater Southwest (free) J Native American* outside Greater Southwest ($20) *Please list tribe affiliation_______________________________ J Additional donation: _________

Gift Membership Name for gift membership or donation






____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Payment method
H Check H Money order H Visa H MasterCard H American Express H Discover/Novus Card no.: _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ Exp.: _ _ / _ _ Cardholder signature: __________________________________________________


Flavors of the Desert

Save Grow Inspire

In 1981, one hundred folks gathered in Tucson to talk about industrial agriculture and the need to increase crop diversity region by region. Called Seed Banks Serving People, this landmark event featured those who would become the luminaries of the seed world: Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust; Rob Johnston, the founder of Johnnys Selected Seeds; Forest Shomer, founder of Abundant Life Seeds, Gary Nabhan cofounder of Native Seeds/SEARCH and many others. Native Seeds/SEARCH will recognize the 30th anniversary of this historic event at Flavors of the Desert on April 28. Flavors celebrates the amazing, sumptuous bounty of the Sonoran Desert and our treasured collection of Southwest indigenous seeds at NS/S.

That day at the University of Arizona, the visionaries who helped launch the bioregional seed movement will converge with those breaking new ground to bring our community up-to-date on agricultural trends and set new intentions for the path ahead. Then in the evening... Under the stars and mesquites and amidst the spectacular native vegetation of Tohono Chul Park, we will enjoy a feast of place-based, mouth-watering food as we celebrate a legacy of diversity.

Save the Date: Saturday, April 28, 2012 69pm Under the stars at Tohono Chul Park, Tucson, Arizona

Non Profit Org US Postage PAID Tucson, AZ Permit #2157

Tableof Contents
About Native Seeds/SEARCH...
About this Seedlisting Growing & Seedsaving Price List Seed Policy for Native Americans Placing an Order Becoming a Member 5-6 8-9 33-35 63 64-65 66 2

The Seed Collections

Special Collections

NS/S Seeds
Amaranth Bean Chile Chiltepin Corn/Maize Cotton Cowpea Devils Claw Gourd Greens Herbs Indigo Melon Okra Onion Panic Grass Pea Sorghum Squash Sunflower Tobacco Tomatillo Tomato Watermelon Wheat 12 13-17 18-20 21 22-25 26 27 28 29 30 30-32 32 37-38 38 39 40 41 42 43-46 47 48 49 49-50 50-51 51

Tucson Seed
Arugula Bean Beet Bell Pepper Broccoli Cabbage Carrot Cauliflower Cucumber Herbs Kale Leek Lettuce Onion Parsnip Pea Radicchio Radish Spinach Squash Swiss Chard Tomato Turnip 52 14 52 20 52 53 53 54 54 32 54 55 55 39 56 41 56 56 57 45-46 57 50 57

Native Seeds/SEARCH 3584 E. River Road Tucson, Arizona 85718

Are you a member? Members receive a 10% discount! See page 66 to join or renew today!

Wildflower Seeds and Blends Foods

58-59 60-61