Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

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Check out these seedy facts

1. Where is the best place to store vegetable and flower seeds at home?

  • On a windowsill
  • In a drawer
  • In the refrigerator

Answer: Seeds age faster at high temperatures and in high humidity, so a windowsill or drawer is not the best place to store them. Seeds should be kept as cold and dry as possible; store them in a well-sealed container inside a refrigerator at about 3 to 5 degrees Celsius.

2. Which of these is the oldest living seed ever found?

  • A lotus seed from a 1200-year-old Chinese lake bed
  • A 2000-year-old date palm seed from Masada, Israel
  • A wheat seed from a 4000-year-old pyramid tomb in Egypt

Answer: Preserved seeds of wheat have been found in Egyptian tombs, but none have been viable. A date palm germinated from a seed found in Masada Israel, but the true age of this seed has not been proven. The oldest verified living seed was a lotus seed from a 1200-year-old Chinese lake bed.

3. Which of these Australian plant species has seeds that live the longest?

  • paper daisy
  • wattle
  • waratah

Answer: The seeds of some Australian species, including many wattles (Acacia) species, can last for hundreds or even several thousand years if they are properly stored. Even when stored correctly, daisy and waratah seeds survive only for a few decades.

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