It’s Harvesting Season On The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks

It’s harvesting season on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and time to collect seeds from native spring wildflowers found on the land like arroyo lupines and cobweb thistle. Join Irvine Ranch Conservancy volunteers to collect wildflower seeds at the Native Seed Farm in Irvine any Wednesday or Saturday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.


The variety of plant species in the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks is incredibly diverse, and so are the ways in which these native plants disperse their seed. Arroyo lupine’s seed pods buckle and twist as they dry out in the sun, eventually popping open and sending seeds flying. Cobweb thistle have pappus that have tufts of hair on their seeds that resemble parachutes and help their seed glide along with the wind. Other flowers such as dandelions use this method as well, but cobweb thistle pappus is much larger in size so it can catch enough of a breeze to carry the plant’s bulky seeds.


Many of the native plants found out in the Landmarks are also grown at the Irvine Ranch Conservancy Native Seed Farm in Irvine. Volunteers help harvest thousands of seeds from the nearly 15,000 native seedlings that were successfully planted at the farm this winter. Seeds from these plants and wildflowers at the farm are used to regrow native species in habitat restoration sites throughout the Landmarks. Seeds are collected and laid out to dry, and any additional materials collected such as leaves, stems and petals are repurposed as a natural mulch to fertilize soil on the Landmarks. Since nothing goes to waste, everything volunteers collect during harvesting season on the Native Seed Farm has a huge impact on future successful habitat restoration.


Join the Irvine Ranch Conservancy volunteers at the Native Seed Farm at harvesting activities on Wednesday and Saturday mornings by clicking here. All tools and training are provided. Volunteering at the Farm is an ideal way to connect with the outdoors as summer temperatures heat up. No hiking is required and activities are family friendly and free with required pre-registration, which closes at 4 p.m.the day prior to each event. Children 8 years old and up are welcome to volunteer on the farm, and must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. For more details on programs at the Native Seed Farm, click here or visit



Irvine Ranch Conservancy

Irvine Ranch Conservancy is a non-profit, non-advocacy organization created in 2005 to help preserve and support the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, enhancing the public’s connection to the land while helping partners and landowners with all aspects of stewardship. The Conservancy offers a variety of free, guided outdoor programs for all nature enthusiasts including hiking, mountain biking, horse-back riding and much more. For more information, visit


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