Seeds come in many shapes and sizes and inside each one is a tiny embryo, containing all the genetic information required to grow a new plant.
Seeds must be carefully prepared for their time in the seedbank
Seed-bearing fruits are dried and their seeds are removed and cleaned to ensure that only high-quality seeds are kept - free from insects and impurities. The dry and cool conditions in the seedbank ensure that seeds remain in a state of ‘suspended animation’ with minimal metabolic activity for years to come.
Some plants produce seeds that are not suitable for seedbanking
Others plants do not produce seed at all! An alternative way to conserve these species is to culture and bank their tissues via tissue culture or cryostorage. These techniques are useful for conserving very rare species and species that are difficult to grow, such as Australian ground orchids.