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PanAmerican Seed:
A journey over 75 years

We have earned our experience – over 75 years of breeding, selling and growing amazing products – through the same values we still have today: Innovation, inspiration, quality, reliability and personal contact.

PanAmerican Seed was founded in 1946. With early roots in Paonia, Colorado, USA, this innovative company was started by three men who shared the same ideals. After years of collaboration between Ball Horticultural Company and PanAmerican Seed, a new merger was created. In 1962, PanAmerican Seed developed into the company we now know today.

The 1940's

Claude Hope of Sweetwater, Texas was best-in-his-class at Texas Tech, where he met future horticulture expert Charlie Weddle. During their college days, Charlie and Claude had lively discussions about a seed production company that would be an innovation for the industry. Together with Bob Holley, the three of them cultivated an idea that quickly grew and evolved.

In 1946, in Paonia, Colorado, PanAmerican Seed was born.

The three men found the perfect match in each other for collaborating on new and exciting ways of flower breeding. Charlie found a location in the mountains of Western Colorado in which he did his breeding work. And in Costa Rica, Claude founded an infant production facility.

The 1950's

After 1953, the focus shifted toward breeding hybrid plants, which further established PanAmerican Seed’s reputation. The Costa Rica operation grew as well, and after a while it was decided the bulk of all Petunia seeds would be produced there. With rapid growth and big dreams came the need for cooperation. So in time, a close association between PanAmerican Seed and the Ball Horticultural Company was formed.

The 1960's

This co-op meant more business and bigger orders. In 1962, the two firms, Ball Horticultural Company and PanAmerican Seed, combined their efforts and the company as we know it today was born. They merged not only their companies, but brought their biggest strengths, expertise and most beautiful products together under one roof. PanAmerican Seed moved to a new office in West Chicago, Illinois.

The 1970's

This decade was a quiet time. But that didn’t mean the company didn’t do great things. At its core, PanAmerican Seed is all about innovation and growth, so that’s what it did: Developed newer, stronger plant breeding poised to take the industry by storm.

The 1980's

The 1980s meant new and exciting products. It was also the perfect time to open a new research and development facility in Elburn, Illinois. By having multiple R&D facilities, breeding could be tested at different climates, which helps develop stronger genetics. The Elburn facility quickly grew to have 14 different growing zones.

The 1990's

In the 90’s, the entire world could enjoy the journey of Claude Hope. He released his biography, aptly named, Master of Seeds.

PanAmerican Seed shook the horticultural world when it introduced the Wave Petunia in 1995. Wave’s popularity with home gardeners had exploded, and millions of gardeners loved Wave’s easy spreading colour! It confirmed that after all these years, PanAmerican Seed was still considered a market leader in its field.

The 2000's

PanAmerican Seed began a new era in the millennium with president Anne Leventry, and moved towards a bright path of expansion. With the turn of the century came more exciting opportunities and acquisitions. Many companies became part of PanAmerican Seed to provide customers with a better and wider assortment. And though the assortment broadened, the company core is still the same – healthy seeds for quality products.


After many years and a long, incredible journey, PanAmerican Seed still believes in that simple idea Claude, Charlie and Bob once had: To be a beacon of innovation and to produce high-quality products. To do that, we continue to work with industry professionals and stay dedicated to improve our breeding process and remain Number One in Seed.

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