Super Seed Saturday

Super Seed Saturday

Saturday, January 21, 2023
Regenstein Center
Times Vary – See Below

Hear from experts, explore behind-the-scenes, swap seeds with gardeners


  • Free admission to Super Seed Saturday events; preregistration is not required for the Seed Swap
  • Registration is requested for the free lecture
  • Registration is required for the free tours of the Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank & the Rare Book Room 
  • Regular parking and Garden admission fees apply for nonmembers


10th Annual Seed Swap
Burnstein Hall and Krehbiel Gallery, 2 – 4 p.m.

  • The purpose of this program is to encourage gardeners to come together to share/swap seeds and to learn more about starting seeds, saving seeds, and related topics. (Participants are not required to bring seeds to share/swap. They can also just come and take some seeds home.)
  • Gardeners are invited to bring saved seed and leftover seed packets to share and swap with other gardeners.
  • Chicago Botanic Garden staff and volunteers, as well as outside guests, will have displays and will be available to answer questions and talk with Seed Swap attendees.

Alsdorf Auditorium, 1 p.m.

Abra Lee
  • Speaker: Abra Lee, international speaker, writer, and founder of Conquer the Soil, a community that explores the history, folklore, and art of horticulture.
  • Presentation: "Lift Ev'ry Voice!"
  • From an extraordinary tale of espionage in the name of flowers, to familial ties to the Harlem Renaissance, Black America has long sown seeds of greatness in the garden. Join in as we shine the spotlight on these iconic plant people and their historic achievements.

Register Now


Sold out Tour — The Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank
Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center, 10 – 11 a.m.

  • Did you know the Chicago Botanic Garden has a seed bank? Take a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank in the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center with Dave Sollenberger, seed bank manager, and learn more about this crucial work. See the state-of-the-art lab—including all the unique seed prep equipment—and learn the multiple steps to seed banking from the seeds’ arrival to long-term storage.
  • Limited to 12 participants.

Sold out Seeds of Yesteryear: Selections from the Rare Book Collection
Lenhardt Library, 11 a.m. – noon

  • Go back in time through this viewing of seed catalog selections from the Lenhardt Library’s Rare Book Collection. See a variety of colorful seed catalogs from the late 1800s to early 1900s, including a rare “salesman’s sample” catalog from Chautauqua Nurseries that features plates joined by ribbons, bound accordion-style, and all in its own carrying case.
  • Presented by: Donna Herendeen, Lenhardt Library manager of public services
  • Limited to 15 participants.

The Seed Library
Lenhardt Library, January 21 to March 26

  • Kicking off on Super Seed Saturday, the Seed Library cart offers a variety of free seeds available for you to “borrow,” plant, grow, harvest, and enjoy this growing season—including tomatoes, beans, and more.
  • While you’re there, don’t forget to gather seed-starting tips and answers to your growing questions, always available at the Lenhardt Library.

Classes Offered