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Your visit to PlantBank

The Australian PlantBank is not only a working science facility, but a learning centre for everyone.

Visit us at PlantBank

The Australian PlantBank is open Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm (closed weekends).

Visitors of all ages are welcome and children must be accompanied by an adult. Plan your visit to the Australian PlantBank today!

Contact the Visitor Centre to book your free tour:  phone 4634 7935

Our dedicated volunteer guides provide free tours of the Australian PlantBank.
These do not go behind the scenes like the paid tours do.

How can you support our work?

Support our vital scientific work. We also welcome enquiries from potential corporate sponsors

What can I see and do at PlantBank?

Self-guided or guided visitors can see the scientists using our:

 
  • Physiology Laboratory (the Plant Lab): experiments on whole plants and soils, for example, study of potting mixes or plant interactions with the environment.
  • Seed Testing Laboratory: preparation and examination of seeds for viability, longevity and routine seed testing before and after cold storage.
  • Seed Processing Room: newly collected seeds are separated from plant material before drying and storage, ensuring only seed of high quality is banked in the seed vault.
  • Microscopy Room: Many seeds are small! The microscopes aid in seed testing and image collection. Our x-ray machine allows staff to see inside seeds to assess quality and viability.
  • Germination Room and Walk-in Incubators: Incubators are set to various temperatures to allow seeds to germinate under optimal conditions. 
  • Drying Room: Freshly collected seeds are placed here at 15% RH (relative humidity) and 15ºC. This reduces the moisture content of the seeds so they can be stored for a long time in cold storage. 
  • Seed Vaults: One vault is set at 4ºC for short term storage, the other at -18ºC for long term storage (the same temperatures as a domestic fridge and freezer).
  • Cryo Storage Room (guided tours only): Seeds and plant tissues are stored in stainless steel vessels containing liquid nitrogen at between -180ºC and -196ºC.
  • Tissue Culture Laboratory: Preparation of media for growing plants in tissue culture.
  • Laminar Flow Room: Laminar flow cabinets are used for the sterile dissection of plant material during tissue culture. The cabinets provide an environment like a hospital operating theatre, which allows material to be handled in an aseptic or sterile manner.
  • Plant Growth Room: Plants in tissue culture are housed here on stainless steel benches at about 23ºC with lighting (on for 16 hours and dark for 8 hours). 

Anticipate your visit to PlantBank

The Diversity Wall within the Australian PlantBank: an interactive exhibit for visitors of all ages.

Did you know we have a lichen garden? Lichen is not a single life-form, but a symbiosis - a partnership between a fungus and a green alga or cyanobacterium growing together.

Some ripe fruits and seeds attract animals that collect or eat them, depositing them elsewhere; other seeds can be transported on animal fur or skin.

Many seeds are dispersed by water - drifting downstream or across oceans.

Some plants violently expel their seeds through the air. Other seeds simply fall to the ground or are borne away by the wind.

Observe the Living Laboratory in the garden beds surrounding PlantBank, then take a walk through the neighbouring Cumberland Plain Woodland.

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