Chia seed available for trial planting
Chia (Salvia hispanica) is a promising pollinator provider and cover crop. We need trials under a variety of growing conditions to see what its full potential is! Sam Droege has encouraged me to put it out there to the beemonitoring group and has offered to look over the pollinators which visit chia flowers.
Yes, it’s the same chia as in “Ch-ch-chia Pet”, but aside from sprouting on whimsical ceramic figures, it is a tall annual in the mint family, native to Central America and Mexico, and was the 3rd most important staple of the Aztecs, to say nothing of its special nutritional benefits. Many mints are great bee plants but many are also aggresive perennials which will take over a garden. Not chia, which may offer the pollinator benefits of the mint family without the aggressive, weedy side.
Please see my website and links there for more info: http://www.ars.usda.gov/pandp/docs.htm?docid=19317
Then, email me for your free seed, with instructions on planting it and reporting your results!
Thanks for all of your interest,
Donald C. Weber, Research Entomologist & Lead Scientist
USDA Agricultural Research Service
Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory
Bldg. 011A, Rm. 107, BARC-West Beltsville, MD 20705 USA