Seed banking is a valuable conservation tool that enables the long-term storage of genetic diversity of a large number of plant species. It involves collecting, cleaning, drying, recording, and storing seeds at low temperatures for future conservation and restoration uses.
To supplement its on-site plant conservation locally and globally, the Garden in 2013 established a Seed Bank at the Shaw Nature Reserve. The seed bank holds over 2,400 dormant seed accessions of more than a thousand different species, many of which are globally rare or threatened with extinction. Some of these seeds were collected by Garden horticulturists and researchers on visits to Japan, China, and the Republic of Georgia. Additionally, we have collections from over 25% of Missouri’s 2,000+ native plants stored in the Seed Bank, including 64 Species of Conservation Concern.
For a behind the scenes tour of the Seed Bank, check out this video. You can search our collections at livingcollections.org. To request seeds for professional use, fill out a Plant Material Request Form.