We have developed a DNA extraction procedure for milligram amounts of plant tissue. Yields ranged from 0.3-200 nanograms of DNA per milligram of tissue. The factors affecting yield are discussed. Fresh tissue, as well as herbarium specimens (22-118 years old) and mummified seeds and embryos (500 to greater than 44 600 years old) were used. All tissues attempted (57 types from 29 species) yielded measurable amounts of DNA. In no case tested was inhibition observed for restriction enzymes BamHI or EcoRI.