The 2021 Bulb & Seed Exchange has now closed. The deadline for requests was 29 August 2021. The Exchange is for members only and is unfortunately subject to some restrictions for non-UK members.
There are also periodically Ephemeral seed exchanges in late autumn, primarily for seeds which need to be sown immediately on receipt.
The Southern African Bulb Group is running its Annual Bulb and Seed Exchange again this year, for SABG members only. The exchange is running on a similar timing as last year, so material will be sent out in early September, and can be planted and started into growth in a timely fashion. I know this caused problems for a few of you, but generally it worked very well.
This Exchange is now a key part of our activities, so we are hoping for at least as many of you as before, if not more, to provide your spare bulb or seed material for the benefit of other members! It has been a difficult spring, but I am hoping that many of you will have had more time to spend in your garden collecting seeds, and will have a chance to get the summer repotting done nice and early.
Please note that although we call it an exchange, if you don’t yourself have material to offer, you will still be able to request seeds or bulbs from the list in exchange for a suitable donation to cover at least the cost of postage and packing. The page on Payments provides some information on ways to pay.
I would like to clarify our policy regarding sending items to overseas members. We are only able to send material to overseas members in ways complying with their government’s regulations (i.e. no mis-labelling of contents etc), and only when conforming with those regulations is neither too onerous, nor expensive (e.g. we cannot issue phytosanitary certificates etc). We expect the relevant member to be able to guide us in following their government’s requirements. Although we’ll do our best to comply with the regulations where possible, we cannot be held responsible for any bulbs or seeds which are confiscated.
All donations from all overseas members must now, sadly, be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate. We recognise that this makes it difficult or impossible for these members to donate to the exchange. This requirement has been deferred for EU members until 1st January 2022, so EU members can still donate material this year if they wish to, and we will be delighted if you do.
However, because the UK is no longer part of the EU, any packages sent to EU members would need to be accompanied by a Phytosanitary certificate. This would be a difficult and expensive administrative burden, and we regret that as a result we are unable to send bulbs or seeds to EU members at this time. We are still able to send seeds to some countries outside Europe, provided that the members receiving them are conversant with their own regulations.
We are participating in endeavours with other UK gardening societies to lobby the UK government to change the regulations to facilitate international seed exchange, but the import requirements set by the EU are outside the control of the UK government, and are unlikely to be affected by any changes.
The timetable this year is as follows:
• Genus • Species (including subspecies / cultivar name where relevant) • Source (when the item is derived from wild collected material it is useful to know a location for the collection) • Notes (any other information about the item you feel is useful) • Seed or Bulb • South African or 'Other' • Approximate quantity (for bulbs and large seeds)
I hope you find this exercise valuable and perhaps obtain some new plants. Of course, its success depends on the generous efforts of the donors, so please check whether you have some spares you can donate.