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AGS Seed Exchange, 2020-2021
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The Alpine Garden Society Seed Exchange

In order to offer a seed exchange this year, we have had to significantly change our procedures.  We request the patience and understanding of members in these difficult circumstances.  The seed exchange normally relies on a large number of helpers working together and this is not possible this year, and due to restrictions imposed upon us by the Covid pandemic, we can only operate in a limited way this year.  In addition, there are new international regulations regarding the import and export of seeds and as the UK is in a transition period from the EU these laws are due to change in January 2021. 

Unfortunately these regulations  lead to our decision that we can only operate a seed exchange for UK members this year. 

The main changes this year will be:

  • The seed exchange will only be for members living in the UK.
  • The seed ordering will be earlier than usual, and will operate from the 1st - 15th November only.
  • Seed order allocations will be 15 packets for donors, and 10 for non-donors
  • Payment will be reduced to £5 per main order, in line with the reduced allocations this year.
  • Seed distribution will be later than usual, and seed orders will be posted out in January.
  • There will only be a Main distribution, there will be no Surplus distribution this year


This year Seed Ordering will open online from the 1st November and will close 15th November.  The method of ordering seed online will be similar to the system used for the last few years.  We strongly request that as many members as possible help us out this year by using the online ordering system which will save us time and reduces administration.  This year we can only send out a print copy of the seed list if you request one from Diane Clement before 23rd October. The seed list will be available to consult and print off as usual from the website after 1st November.  For any queries about the seed exchange, please contact Diane, preferably by email at

Please read carefully through these notes and also the notes about your Main Order.

Please note that the arrangements will be different this year.  The main distribution will begin on 1st November and close on 15th November and the orders will be posted out in January.  Orders cannot be accepted by email, please use the on-line ordering system or send your order by post.  Please be patient when you are waiting for your order and do not enquire about missing orders before the end of January.

The seeds offered originate from various sources and cannot be guaranteed true to name. Neither The Alpine Garden Society nor any official of the Society can be held responsible for what is supplied. Members are reminded that named cultivars and hybrids cannot be relied upon to come true, and plants raised from seed from cultivars should not be labelled with the names of those cultivars.

Seeds of many species are in short supply and we can never have enough to meet all requests.  If you request very rare or scarce species you may be disappointed and we advise you to spread your requests throughout a variety of seeds on the list.  We do limit the allocation of rare and sought after species to try and be as fair as possible to all members, especially those members who have donated the rare seed.

Please note that there will be no Surplus Seed distribution this year

Damp Packed seed: We are grateful to all donors who send in damp packed seed.  This way of storing seed is important for ephemeral seed and for some Amaryllidaceae which germinate early.  We store this seed carefully after we receive it, then repack it with damp vermiculite in individual zip lock bags.   This year we are offering damp packed seed of Corydalis, Hepatica and Nerine.  These packets are labelled (D) in the printed list and annotated as Damp packed in the online list.  If you receive damp packed seed, the seed may already have germinated, so handle carefully.  It is best to carefully cut the plastic ziplock envelope and tip the whole contents into prepared compost in a pot and cover with grit.  Keep in a shady place outside and do not allow to dry out.  Do not cover the pots, but allow them to be exposed to the weather. They should germinate next spring but if there are no signs of germination, leave outside as sometimes germination can take a year longer.  If sowing is delayed, do not put the packets in the fridge. 

Overseas Members: We apologise that we cannot send seed to overseas members this year. 

Nagoya Protocol: Genetic material collected from the wild since October 12th 2014 is covered by the Nagoya Protocol, which is legally binding in the EU, including the UK.  For material from signatory countries, ‘utilisation’ is not permitted unless there is written consent from the country of origin.  This includes development of new named cultivars and hybrids as well as production of new drugs and other products. Cultivation, privately or commercially, is permitted. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, you should assume that seeds in this list do not have consent for utilisation, as described above.

Plant Breeders’ Rights: Where plant varieties are covered by Plant Breeders’ Rights, it means that there is a restriction on the use of that variety for production, reproduction or selling.  These rights only apply if the plants are being used for commercial purposes.  Since our seed list is only available to members of our society on a non-commercial basis, this is covered by the non-commercial use exemption.  Our seed exchange can therefore offer seed which is otherwise covered by Plant Breeders’ Rights but members should be aware that plants raised from these seeds may not be used for commercial purposes.  To check whether a plant has Plant Breeders’ Rights, please consult a current copy of The Plantfinder, or the RHS online Database

If you would like to order seed, please click here

My Seed Order

Call for donations to Support the Seed Exchange

A seed order usually costs £10. This year, in order to make the seed exchange Covid-safe, we have had to reduce the amount of seed you will get in your order from 23 to 10 packets (30 to 15 for donors).  So this year we’ve reduced the price of a seed order to £5. 

However, next year the seed exchange needs a cash injection to pay for new technology to ensure it can continue to run.  So we are requesting anyone who would like to support the seed exchange to donate the other £5 they’d usually have spent on seed to save the seed exchange and keep it running in future years.  

Click here to Donate £5

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