Thursday, April 16, 2009


Are you a seed saver? I am. I have a box full of seeds I have collected and packets of seeds I bought and haven't yet planted. There is someone else out there who is very serious about collecting seeds. The Millennium Seed Bank, coordinated by The Royal Botanic Gardens, at Kew, England, is collecting seeds from around the world with a view to saving them for the future. It is thought that as many as 60-100,000 thousand species of plants are at threat from extinction. The MSB aims to collect 10% of the targeted species, by the year 2010. This means collecting 10-20,000 seeds of each species. With a budget of $120 million the MSB coordinates 30 organizations in 20 countries. The bank is housed in the Wellcome Trust Millennium building at Wakehurst Place, Sussex, England. 
Here in Austin, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has been charged with collecting seeds for the state of Texas. Quite an undertaking. If you are interested you can learn more about this project by watching the following video from the royal Botanic Garden at Kew, London.


  1. I did not know about that project. It's great they are doing that.

    When I think about development and loss of habitat, it gives me a panicked feeling. So much of it is out of our hands, unfortunately.

  2. Hi RR.
    It will be these sort of seed banks that will ultimately grow an otherwise extinct plant with the distinct qualities to save us, and perhaps our future inhabitants from extinction.
    A thought provoking post RR!
    I just wish I could insert a picture of a federation science officer in here!

  3. Jenny,

    I can't watch videos on dial up: not fast enough.

    I thought the Bank you mentioned was just a UK one.
    Did you follow the link in my post?
    the Spitsbergen one is a different order of magnitude.Take a look.
    Unless that is what is in your video clip.

    Good. I'll try Larkspur as soon as I have got shot of my Monarda.
    I only have one seed tray :-)