Seeds for the future

 

Clemson University is partnering with the U.S. Forest Service to increase the availability of native plant materials primarily the seed for the restoration of native habitats in South Carolina and other regions; right now we're focused on the long leaf pine ecosystem. The plants that we chose for this project are based on a number of factors. There are hundreds of species associated with the long leaf pine ecosystem. Why these here? Because they have a variety of characteristics that make them attractive for seed production, especially from a commercial standpoint. They were chosen for their ability to carry fire, which is an important component in the long leaf ecosystem. We also were looking at plants that had high aesthetic value because a producer, to get into it, he is not going to be interested in just producing seed for restoration projects because that is a fairly limited market. So if we can develop a market and an interest in native plants for things like landscaping, roadside beautification, things like that, that provides more customers for the producer and he is more likely to be successful in making this work for him financially and for getting these seeds out here that we need.