Cleome lutea, commonly known as yellow beeplant, naturally occurs in the arid and semiarid regions of western North America. Though other Cleome species may be more familiar to gardeners, this annual plays an important role in native populations of plants and pollinators in the United States. By focusing your seed search on organizations, nurseries and seed companies devoted to the preservation and restoration of these populations, you can find abundant sources for yellow beeplant seed.
Natives and Wildflowers
With the public's growing interest in natural landscapes, many nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses focus specifically on native plants and wildflowers such as yellow beeplant. Local and national wildflower organizations are excellent sources of information on nurseries, garden centers and seed companies that offer native plant seeds. Many of these organizations have seed exchange programs wherein members share seeds of native wildflowers such as yellow beeplant to help promote the use of these native species in home gardens.
Wildlife and Pollinators
As its name suggests, yellow beeplant holds a significant position as an early-season food source for pollinating insects, particularly bees, wasps and butterflies. Many of these insect populations are in decline, and organizations focused on revitalizing them value yellow beeplant for its beneficial impact on the habitats of these pollinators and other wildlife. The organizations often provide education and direction regarding sources for those seeking to plant gardens to attract and provide food for the insect populations in need.
Restoration and Reclamation
For large quantities of yellow beeplant seed, look to prairie restoration companies and organizations focused on restoring native landscapes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes yellow beeplant among desirable species for restoration, and these companies have extensive seed sources for the plant. Yellow beeplant also performs well when used in erosion control. Businesses that do environmental reclamation projects recommend and offer yellow beeplant seed for this purpose, particularly in the western United States where mining for natural resources necessitates large-scale reclamation.
Many state and federal laws prohibit unauthorized collection of native plant seeds. Collecting the seeds without a permit can be illegal, and presents a risk to the plant's continued presence in that location. This is especially true with an annual such as yellow beeplant. If you know the location of a stand of wild plants, contact your state conservation agency, or the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management. Seed collection permits can often be obtained, along with expert advice on collecting and growing your yellow beeplant seeds.