Non-Hybrid Open-Pollinated Seeds

If you intend to practice "Seed Saving", you must become familiar with Non-Hybrid Open-Pollinated Seeds (NHOP) and what it all means.

Crossing specific parent plants produces a hybrid seed (plant) by means of controlled pollination. These hybrid seeds are often called "F1" or "F1 hybrids". The terms "hybrid" and "F1" are strictly defined in the seed industry and, when used in seed catalogs, do not apply to plants crossed in the wild.

The primary disadvantage of hybrids is the seeds cannot be saved from year to year. Seeds saved from hybrid plants usually will not produce the same plant the following year because most varieties are not self-sustaining.

Open pollination is pollination by insects, birds, wind, or other natural mechanisms. The seeds of open-pollinated plants will produce new generations of those plants; however, because breeding is uncontrolled and the pollen (male parent) source is unknown, open pollination results in plants that vary widely in genetic traits, characteristics.

Open pollination increases biodiversity but results in some plants less suitable for their environment or intended human use. This is in contrast with hybrid pollination, which is controlled and all seeds of a crop carry the same traits. Hybrid pollination increases suitability, especially through the phenomenon of hybrid vigor, but decreases biodiversity.

Eden Seeds do a great catalogue of old traditional NHOP, available from their website:
(partnered with select organic -

And the Diggers Club sells NHOP heirloom varieties.

Also New Gipplsland Seeds & Bulbs


More information on NHOP can be found at