TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation will begin taking applications for a limited supply of heirloom seeds on Feb. 6 for tribal citizens interested in growing traditional Cherokee crops and plants.
“I’m very proud to see the Cherokee Nation seed bank continue to offer a vital link to our Cherokee homeland,” Deputy Chief Bryan Warner said. “The distribution of these traditional seeds helps us preserve pieces of our history and heritage as Cherokees. These plants have been a part of Cherokee gardens and landscapes for centuries.”
The available seeds for 2024 include multiple types of corn, gourds and beans as well as seeds for pumpkin, Trail of Tears beads and tobacco.
There are also seeds available for 14 types of native plants, including American Basket Flower, Blue Wild Indigo, Compass Plant, Cutleaf Coneflower (Cochanny), Green Dragon, Hearts-a-Burstin, Jewelweed, New Jersey Tea, Passionflower, Purple Coneflower, Rattlesnake Master, Sunchoke, Trumpet Vine and Wild Senna.
Seed packages can be requested online through the Gadugi Portal by visiting https://gadugiportal.cherokee.org.
Questions about the seeds can be addressed by emailing
The Cherokee Nation’s seed supply is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis. Recipients are limited to two varieties of seeds, and one variety of corn and gourds.
Recipients of traditional heirloom seeds are asked to be mindful of the directions in the planting guide as any variance from the instructions could be a detriment to the plants’ genetic integrity.
In 2023, the Cherokee Nation distributed more than 9,500 packages of traditional seeds.
All seeds have been produced locally by trained Cherokee Nation staff and are made available to Cherokee citizens for cultural uses. The seeds are not to be sold or offered for sale.