The purpose of the National Plant Materials Program is to provide native plants that can help solve natural resource problems. Beneficial uses for which plant material may be developed include biomass production, carbon sequestration, erosion reduction, wetland restoration, water quality improvement, soil health improvement, streambank and riparian area protection, coastal dune stabilization, and other special conservation treatment needs.
Scientists at the Plant Materials Centers seek out plants that show promise for meeting an identified conservation need and test their performance. After species are proven, they are released to the private sector for commercial production. The work at the 27 centers is carried out cooperatively with state and Federal agencies, commercial businesses, and seed and nursery associations.