Native Plant Restoration Nursery

The California deserts are home to over 2,000 species of native plants, comprising over 30% of California’s diverse flora. Many of these species are considered to be of conservation concern. Here in the Mojave Desert, our unique flora is a critical part of a sensitive desert ecosystem, providing food and shelter for endangered wildlife and cleaning our air and water through soil stabilization and carbon sequestration.


The goal of the Native Plant Restoration Nursery is to increase the availability of genetically appropriate plant material whether it’s for habitat restoration on public lands or for home landscaping. Through the nursery and seed bank MDLT is preserving land and protecting wildlife linkages by conserving native plants and restoring damaged ecosystems, rebuilding food chains, and connecting people with the land.


Native Plant Nursery & Seed Bank

MDLT shade house facility

MDLT greenhouse facility

Our nursery facilities include an 1,800-square foot greenhouse, a 6,000-square foot shade house, and 1,500-square feet of growing area for seed-increase production. We can conduct experimental grow outs for restoration and provide tracking data on all seed accessions and grow outs.

We can grow plant material for projects according to contract specifications. Services include site-specific seed collection, seed bulking, and contract growing of container plants.

For inquiries, contact Madena Asbell:

MDLT holds two community plant sales a year, in the spring and fall. You can find information about upcoming plant sales on our Events page. Our nursery is not open to the public, but MDLT-grown native plants can be purchased year-round at The Cactus Mart in Morongo Valley.

MDLT Retail NurseryMDLT Retail Nursery

The MDLT Native Plant Nursery is located on the former site of the former Hanna’s Nursery Gardens & Landscaping. During the 1980’s and 90’s, the nursery was owned and operated by Chuck Hanna, who offered native and ornamental plants and landscaping services to the local community.

In 2015, MDLT purchased the property, which included the office building on 29 Palms Hwy and the 2.5-acre nursery facility behind it. MDLT restored the nursery to working order and began growing native plants in early 2016.


Conservation Seed Bank

MDLT’s Conservation Seed Bank is a repository of seeds and spores of native flora from throughout the Mojave Desert ecoregion. The seed bank serves as an ex-situ conservation tool for use in restoration, education, and research in the Mojave Desert region.





The rare white-margined beardtongue, Penstemon albomarginatus, (CNPS Rank 1B.1)

Native long horn bee on wildflower

Collection priority is given to:

    • Species with high restoration value
    • Forage plants for pollinators and endangered wildlife
    • Rare, threatened, and endangered plant taxa






Seeds are collected, documented, and cleaned by trained staff and volunteers. Collections are placed in long-term storage as well as in our working seed bank. Seed from these collections is used in restoration projects, to grow out for contracts and plant sales, for seed-increase production, and for research to establish propagation protocols. All collections are accompanied by field data that include GPS information, soil type and characteristics, and vegetation alliance. These data points help inform restoration practitioners in choosing the right plant materials for a restoration site.


Goals for the Conservation Seed Bank include:

  • Have representative collections of all plant species found on MDLT properties
  • Develop propagation protocols for uncommon and/or difficult species
  • Work with partner agencies and organizations on seed-increase production and grow outs with an emphasis on habitat restoration and rare plant conservation
  • Provide internship opportunities to educate students about seed collection, storage and propagation
  • Offer educational workshops on seed collection and plant propagation


Seed Donations

We welcome donations of seed from our supporters. We ask that seed donations meet the following criteria:

  • Seed is collected from plants that are native to the Mojave Desert ecoregion
  • Seed is collected from the donor’s property or from private property with permission from the landowner

Please be aware that it is illegal to collect seed on land that does not belong to you (including MDLT property, federal lands, private property, etc.) without permission from the landowner/land manager. Collecting in national parks is always prohibited.

If you would like to donate seeds from your property to the seed bank, please complete our Seed Donation Form.


Coville’s lipfern (Myriopteris covillei)

Living Collection

In addition to the Conservation Seed Bank, MDLT is developing a collection of living plant specimens for educational and research purposes. The collection currently consists of 6 species of xerophytic ferns, rare cacti Cylindropuntia munzii and

Coryphantha alversonii, and other rare and uncommon desert species.


About the fern collection: All the ferns in our collection have been grown from spore. Species in the collection include Coville’s lipfern (Myriopteris covillei), Parry’s lipfern (Myriopteris parryi), slender lipfern (Myriopteris gracilis), bird’s foot fern (Pellaea mucronata), wavy scaly cloakfern (Astrolepis sinuata), and Cochise scaly cloakfern (Astrolepis cochisensis).



Lead volunteer Tom Kayne collecting Ziziphus parryi (Parry’s jujube)

Volunteers help with native plant seed-gathering excursions on MDLT properties, and seed cleaning in the seed lab. The seeds are collected and stored in our conservation seed bank.  Members of this team may also be trained to help with basic plant propagation, irrigation, maintenance, and other horticultural tasks as needed.

Get Involved