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Conservation Plants

Biological Science Technician tending native grasses in greenhouse.The Plant Materials Program, with its 27 Plant Materials Centers (PMCs), cooperates with a variety of public and private conservation partners to collect, evaluate, select and release plants which are intended for commercial production to solve resource conservation problems. This testing helps ensure that the plants grow under a variety of climates and soil types and will perform as needed.

Very few NRCS plant releases have been genetically manipulated and many are now being selected to maximize genetic diversity. During testing, all NRCS plant collections are evaluated to insure that they are not weedy, invasive or harmful to the environment.

Plants offer a natural solution for addressing many conservation challenges. From wildfire restoration and invasive species control to forage production, wildlife habitat, erosion prevention, nutrient filtering, stream bank protection, and sources of biofuels, plants are a sustainable resource that help protect and heal our landscapes.

Conservation Plant Releases

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Featured Documents

  • Pollinator Value of NRCS Plant Releases (XLS; 77 KB)
    This information includes native forbs/wildflowers and legumes selected by the Plant Materials Program that are useful in creating habitat for butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and other important pollinators.  This spreadsheet is best used as a reference resource to extract data for other purposes.
  • Improved Conservation Plant Materials Released by NRCS and Cooperators through December 2014 (PDF; 9 MB) This document provides a single source guide to releases that have been developed through NRCS cooperative efforts for use in natural resource conservation. This list of conservation plant releases includes the products from 27 Plant Materials Centers (PMCs) and cooperating agencies (1939 - present). These plants have known characteristics and proven soil and water conservation uses when used in their areas of adaptation.  Updated February 2015