Thursday, August 19, 2010

up close.... from Kew Gardens

Escape pods: The Kew Millennium Seed Bank

These strange alien structures are among the seeds and pollen conserved at the Kew Millennium Seed Bank. Seeds from more than 10% of the world's flowering plants – around 30,000 species – have been collected in the decade since the bank was established. Kew is celebrating this milestone with an exhibition Banking on Life (4 April – 13 September), and a book of electron micrographs The Hidden Sexuality of Flowers by Rob Kesseler and Madeline Harley (Papadakis, £35)   View here:

Banking on Life (Kew exhibition): Epilobium angu seed

Fireweed seed (Epilobium angustifollum) photographs - Rob Kesseler and Madeline Harley.

Banking on Life (Kew exhibition): Lamourouxia viscosa
Lamourouxia viscosa seed

Banking on Life (Kew exhibition): Scutellaria orientalis seed

Eastern sun (Scutellaria orientalis) seed

Banking on life (Kew exhibition): Ornithogalum dubium seed

Sun star (Ornithogalum dublum) seed

Banking on Life (Kew exhibition): Castilleja seed

Seed of Castilleja flower, popularly known as Indian paintbrush or prairie-fire.

This segment below is from the Kew Gardens website and refers to the Queensland chapter of the Millennium Seed Bank Project. (Note: not a recent summary - this perhaps is from around 2005)

Seeds for Life (Qld): a Seed Conservation Partnership between the QSEED Consortium and the RBG Kew Millennium Seed Bank Project

An ambitious seed collection and research program for Queensland.
This partnership is one of seven Australian partnerships in the Millennium Seed Bank Project (MSBP).  Over 6 years, the 'Seeds for Life' programme will collect seeds, herbarium specimens, and other associated information from 1,000 Queensland plant species.  These seeds will be stored as duplicate collections in Queensland and the UK, and used in research undertaken by Griffith University and the University of Queensland, as well as the Millennium Seed Bank Project (MSBP) in the United Kingdom.  Similar work will be undertaken in all other states as part of other MSBP partnerships. 
The three 'Seeds For Life' themes are: 1) Endangered species and ecosystems; 2) Landscape rehabilitation; and 3) Training and extension.
The MSBP will contribute considerable direct funding ($1,590,000) and in-kind support to the Seeds For Life Project. The QSeed Partnership will also contribute significant funds, together with in-kind contributions.  Financial support from the Australian mining industry has enabled a more comprehensive program. 
The Queensland Seeds for Life Project is a collaboration between the Millennium Seed Bank Project at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, United Kingdom, and Queensland research, non-government organisations and Government bodies collectively called the QSeed Partnership.
Project targets include: 1,000 species new to MSB; two PhD studentships, three technical training attachments and one post-doctoral programme.

Go to the Kew Site here.


pRiyA said...

Gosh, these are gorgeous. Thanks for the link.

sophie munns said...

Hi Priya...they are astonishing magnified to this see how extraordinary the structures are of something we see as so humble and basic!
Lovely to hear form you!


These are incredibly inspiring images thank you Sophie


Sophie Munns said...

Great to hear from you Carolyn!
Quite extraordinary - would love to see the book!

Anonymous said...

The color, the forms, if I didn't know better, I would think these were sculptures made our of paper. How inspiring. Lots of food for thought.

sophie munns said...

Hi Mary,
i thought that too about a couple of these seeds.
Interesting to think about these ...quite potent images.

J Bar said...

That really is amazing.

sophie munns said...

Hi J,
nice to visit your blog too... glad you liked them!

Jenny Buford said...

Amazing pictures!

Sophie Munns said...

wonderful images Jenny ... thanks for commenting!

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