West Texas Native Seeds is a multi-agency collaborative initiative of the Borderlands Research Institute for Natural Resource Management at Sul Ross State University and the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M Kingsville to develop and promote native plants for the restoration and reclamation of habitats on private and public lands across West Texas. Our goal is to provide economically viable sources of native plants and seeds to both the private and public sector for the restoration of native plant communities.

Currently, there are no commercial sources of native seed adapted for use in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas. Those desiring to restore native plants to degraded lands have few suitable options. As a result of the lack of native seeds, exotic grasses are often planted to prevent soil erosion in reclamation projects or following habitat improvement efforts. Exotic grasses have negative impacts to wildlife and the ecosystems they are introduced to. As disturbance and fragmentation increase in West Texas, commercial sources of native seeds for restoration and reclamation will be increasingly important for conservation of the region’s unique biodiversity.

Project Objectives

Collect, evaluate, and release seed sources of West Texas native plants to commercial seed producers to facilitate availability of locally adapted native seeds to consumers.

Develop and implement restoration and reclamation strategies that can be successfully used to reestablish native plants in disturbed or degraded habitats.

Promote the use of native plants in rangeland restoration, highway right-of-way, oil and gas, and energy transmission right-of-way reclamation, as well as in horticulture plantings.

Project Updates

1,800 native seed collections have been completed across West Texas for plant evaluations.

26 plant species evaluations have resulted in six select native germplasm releases specific to West Texas on the commercial market and 11 species are now in seed increase, the last step before commercial release.

We have four ongoing evaluations with an additional 2-4 evaluations planned for next growing season.

We are currently developing developing new farm facilities for plant evaluation and seed increase on the Sul Ross State University campus to be operational for the 2024 growing season.