Skip Navigation

Manhattan Plant Materials Center

Manhattan Plant Materials Program

by Mark A. Janzen, Plant Materials Specialist
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Salina, Kansas

The Manhattan Plant Materials Center is one of 27 plant centers dedicated to providing vegetative solutions to conservation problems. The purpose of the Plant Materials Program is to assemble, select, improve, test, and release plant varieties or germ plasm for conservation uses. The program also develops state-of-the-art technology necessary for successful conservation plantings that reduce soil erosion and improve water and air quality.

Released plant materials can be used to achieve the conservation of highly erosive soils, range and pasture improvement, buffers, wildlife and wetland improvement, water and air quality improvement, increased biodiversity and invasive species reduction.

The plant materials specialist coordinates plant materials field activities with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Service Center staffs to provide land-based studies and solutions to conservation problems.

Releases of plant materials from the Manhattan Plant Materials Center include:

  • Aldous little bluestem
  • Atkins prairie cordgrass
  • Barton western wheatgrass
  • Bend sand lovegrass
  • Blackwell switchgrass
  • Cheyenne Indiangrass
  • Cimarron little bluestem
  • Eureka thickspike gayfeather
  • Garden sand bluestem
  • Kaneb purple prairie clover
  • Kanlow switchgrass
  • Kanoka roundhead lespedeza
  • Kaw big bluestem
  • Konza aromatic sumac
  • Lippert bur oak
  • Midas false sunflower
  • Nekan pitcher sage
  • Osage Indiangrass
  • Pete eastern gamagrass
  • Pink Lady winterberry euonymous
  • Proghorn prairie sandreed
  • Reno Illinois bundleflower
  • Texoka buffalo grass
  • Riley partridge pea
  • Southwind common reed
  • Sunglow grayhead prairie coneflower

For more information about conservation uses for these varieties, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office or conservation district office located at your local county USDA Service Center. To obtain seed or plants, contact a commercial seed vendor or nursery in your area. For additional information about the Manhattan Plant Materials Center and the plant materials program go to

Blackwell switchgrass

Blackwell Switchgrass
Dotted thickspike gayfeather

Dotted thickspike gayfeather

This article is also available in Microsoft Word format.

Manhattan Plant Materials Program (DOC; 3 MB) (Click on images above to download larger version of the pictures)