About Native Seed Technology

We have twenty years of technical experience in wildflower seed production coupled with many years of scientific research on native seed quality combined in a unique service.

Our science and technology service is available to producers and users of wildflower and native seeds; individuals, companies, researchers, community groups, conservation organisations and land managers can benefit from our expertise.

Seed Testing Research

Many native wildflower species are new to cultivation. Consequently, the body of research on seed testing of native wildflower species is relatively small in comparison to the vast collection of research available for traditional crop and ornamental species. Traditional crops are regulated and must have a certificate of germination and purity before being sold. The native seed industry is currently subject to little regulation but seeds should be tested for both germination and purity. Native Seed Technology has developed seed testing procedures for a comprehensive range of species following extensive research carried out with funding assistance from the Scottish Government in the form of SMART and SPUR awards.

Consistent Results in Seed Testing

The Native Seed Technology laboratory tested the consistency of a range of procedures with the International Seed Testing Association. Samples were sent to seed research centres in England, France, Hungary, Italy, Israel and Scotland and results were compared to those gained in our laboratory. This process ensured that our tests are accurate and repeatable by specialists. The results were published in Seed Testing International.

Laboratory Audits

The seed we produce is tested in the laboratory at Scotia Seeds. To ensure the continuing accuracy of our results, our laboratory is audited annually by the Official Seed Testing Station for Scotland (OSTS), part of the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency.

The audit includes checking that the facilities, equipment and procedures for seed testing reach an acceptable standard and enable the laboratory to carry out seed tests in accordance with the International Seed Testing Association Rules for Seed Testing. The OSTS also performs checks on the accuracy of analysis by carrying out duplicate tests on a proportion of the samples we test.

We also receive the latest technical information on seed testing through membership of the International Seed Testing Association and have presented our results at the three most recent ISTA congresses in Hungary, Brazil and Germany (2010).

Technical Papers

Ryan, N., Laverack, G. and Powell, A.A. (2008),
Establishing quality control in UK wildflower seed production.
Seed Testing International, 135, 49-53.

Khajeh Hosseini, M., Powell, A.A. and Laverack, G.K. (2004)
A comparative study of the germination characteristics of wild flower seeds in commercial seed production.
Twenty seventh International Seed Testing Association Congress, Budapest, Hungary (May 2004).

Laverack,G., Matthews, S., Powell, A.A., and Khajeh Hosseini, M. (2007)
Scottish Wildflower Seeds – Production and Uses.
Botanical Journal of Scotland 58 (1), 49-58.