Picture it. January 1784. The Revolutionary War had just ended and George Washington was still five years away from becoming the first U.S. president. Our country was in its infancy, settlers were planting roots, and others were making their way to this new "land of opportunity." An English seedsman named David Landreth was among them. He'd established a seed company in Montreal, Canada, but quickly realized the temps there were not ideal. So he transplanted himself, his family, and his garden seed business to the (somewhat) milder climes of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On High Street to be exact.
Still growing strong more than two centuries later, D. Landreth & Sons is the oldest seed company in the United States and is celebrated as one of the most influential forces in American horticulture. The company has introduced and chronicled the development of some of the most popular vegetable and flower varieties ever grown, many of which are now heirlooms. In 1798, Landreth brought the first Zinnias into the country from Mexico. In 1808, Lewis and Clark sent seed samples collected on the Journey of Discovery to Landreth for cultivation. In 1811, Landreth introduced the first white potato to America (prior to this introduction, potatoes had been yellow). Bloomsdale spinach, the extra early pea, the very first Japanese shrubs and plants in the country (brought back from Japan by Commodore Perry) – all were also Landreth firsts and the list goes on and on.
Landreth’s place in history includes so much more than what was planted in the ground. The company also created tools and machines to work the soil for optimal sowing and growing. Landreth pioneered the first grain and seed threshers, built some of the first mowers, reapers, plows, and corn shellers, and, in 1872, developed the first steam-powered tractor for plowing fields. In addition, David Landreth himself published the first floral and horticultural magazine in Philadelphia, and also served as the president of the U.S. Agricultural Society for several terms.
For over 230 years, D. Landreth Seed Company has grown the crops that have built our nation, and we plan to be here for generations to come. From the early days of our country's first farmers to the modern times of farm and garden to table, we have remained your trusted source for the most reliable seeds…as well as your go-to resource for all the growing guides, planting advice, and gardening encouragement you need. We've known, sown, and grown our seeds for centuries, and our assortment reflects those we've scrupulously selected to ensure your gardening success. Sow, grow, know, and most importantly, have fun digging in! We're here for you every step of the way.