Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Not really news - but really interesting I think

I live near Wakehurst Place, which is run by Kew Gardens, which has a similar project. It’s fascinating to visit. You can watch the lab people through large windows. And there is an exhibition which explains what is going on. I think, from memory, they store the seeds at -20 deg C.

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Yes, they have/had a seed-collecting project based in Cape Town. A young relative of a friend was part of the team, when I was there.
I think I must check your site in Google street view.

I’ve just followed your link -
Did you know that: “Although the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve (or Cape Point as it is colloquially called) occupies only 16% of the area of the Cape Peninsula as given by Adamson & Salter (1950), the flora of Cape Point comprises 41% of the flora of the whole Peninsula.” HC Taylor,

My iSpot tag “myCP” links to the observations I collected (especially following fires) in the Reserve at Cape Point where so many species are locally endemic - I found it quite fun -especially finding species that we thought to be extinct.

"At least nine species are known to be endemic to the Reserve and its immediate environs. No less than five of these are Erica spp., (E. blancheana, E. capensis, E. clavisepala, E. eburnea and E. fontana), two are orchids (Disa sateri and Pterygodium connivens) while the families Restionaceae (Elegia fenestrata) and Bruniaceae (Staavia dodii) account for one each. In addition, two members of the Proteaceae, Leucadendron macowanii and L. floridum, are today confined to the Reserve and its immediate vicinity through destruction of their habitats elsewhere. (Taken from An analysis of the flowering plants and ferns of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
H.C. Taylor

Your example underlines the potential value of these seedbanks - the more the merrier!

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Went in there not long after it had opened and they were explaining how it was supposedly designed to withstand a plane crashing into it or some other large disasters which is fortunate given its proximity to Gatwick. One of the issues with seed banks is that the seeds need to be regenerated i.e. planted and grown at certain intervals. Some can be left for a lot longer than others between these regenerations but you can’t just grab all the seeds, stick them in there and say thats done.

Interesting - I didn’t know that. That is quite an enormous task given the specialised habitats of some plants, not to mention the space required. A Californian redwood, for example, would not easily grow in a plant pot.

Then there are the fynbos species that need the smoke of fires to get them moving.
But it’s a start.

I agree there are indeed seeds that need to be germinated in the smoking shelter ashtray.
There are others that need to go through the digestive system of the fruit eater. The fruit itself is offered as a gift for the service and transport to a new seed bed.

Kew has so much in store.
I discovered this image of a specimen collected in Rondebosch in the Cape in 1810.

|Current name|Ixia dubia|
|Collector & no:|Burchell, W.J. 184|

Now, I’ve spent quite a fair amount of time photographing on Rondebosch Common but don’t remember seeing Ixia dubia there.
So I posted this link on the Facebook page of the friends - and have had a response from Wendy Burchell who is a botanical artist - and see so much is happening
“We’re trying to tell the story of Fynbos and the Cape Floristic Region,
using Grootbos as an example”

Still hoping that they will find one there -