Wildflowers (see also propagation section)

Rutledge, O.C. Alaska Native Wildflowers for  Meadow Gardens. 2014. Georgeson Botanical Notes No. 67. (originally published in 1994)

This paper provides a list of Alaska native plants that work well in wildflower meadows. It also describes a few that  should be avoided.

PDF wildflower meadows

Rutledge, O. and P. Holloway. 1992. Wildflower Seed Mixes for Interior Alaska. University of Alaska Fairbanks. Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. Research Progress Report No 31. 4p.

Two commercial wildflower seed mixes, an experimental mixes with and without grass, and one Alaska native wildflower mix were grown at the Fairbanks Experiment Farm and compared for emergence, survival, bloom time, sowing rates and more. The commercial mixes had the greatest first-season color, and bloom dates are provided for 14 non-native wildflowers on irrigated and non-irrigated plots. Irrigation significantly improved emergence and flowering. Alaska native wildflower mixes showed the lowest emergence rates and flowering probably because seed was wild collected, and a lot of wild seeds have dormancies that must be overcome before germination. Consumers definitely preferred the commercial mixes over the home made mixes.



mixes PDF


Grover, R., L. Renecker, K. Panter and K. VanCleve. 1995. Identifying alkaloids in Alaska Lupinus spp. with reference to cooked calf disease by University of Alaska Fairbanks. Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. Circular 104. 8p.

The nootka lupine grows all over Kodiak Island and is known to contain alkaloids that might be poisonous to livestock. It is suspected in the birth defect, crooked calf disease. This study showed that the suspected alkaloid, anagyrine, was not detected in nootka lupine.

PDF poisonous plants

Van Veldhuizen, B.  and C. Knight. 2006. Dragonhead mint (Dracocephalum parviflorum) as a potential agronomic crop for Alaska University of Alaska Fairbanks. Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. Misc.Publ. 2006-01. 5p.

An exploration of dragonhead mint as a seed crop for wild bird food. This paper includes an extensive analysis of 20 native and escaped plant species found in the Delta Junction area including, nutrient analysis, crude protein fiber, oil contentlignin, cellulose and ash

Bird seed



Holloway, P. 2014. A tale of two species. Georgeson Botanical Notes No 77. (originally published in 1997)

The GBG provided seeds for experiments in chemistry to unravel the mystery of whether the two Hedysarum species in Alaska, Hedysarum alpinum and H. mackenzii are poisonous. These species were implicated in the deaths of Chris McCandless (Into the Wild) and members of the arctic exploration team led by Sir John Richardson.


PDF poisonous plants
The University of Alaska Fairbanks Georgeson Botanical Garden, PO Box 757200, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775 (907) 474-1944, gbgardensuaf@gmail.com