Established in 2002, the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre helps to protect the state’s threatened plant species from extinction, while supporting the restoration of habitats around South Australia. In 2003 the Botanic Gardens of South Australia formed a partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Millennium Seed Bank (UK) as part of the Global Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, which involves 80 countries. The Centre is also currently a member of the Australian National Seed Bank Partnership.
The native plants of South Australia form an integral part of our unique landscapes and ecosystems, however 1 in 4 native South Australian plant species (more than 1,000) are threatened due to loss of habitat and competition with introduced species.
Throughout the Centre’s program, wild provenance seeds have been collected from regions across the state and safeguarded in long term storage at subzero temperatures. Approximately half the species in the state (about 2,000) and nearly 70 per cent of the state’s threatened species are currently stored in the seed bank and form part of the living collections at Adelaide Botanic Garden. By 2020 we aim to have at least 90 per cent of our state's threatened plant species in the seed bank.
Species diversity in South Australian plant communities is in decline and it’s important to conserve our most threatened species while the opportunity still exists. Many species are threatened with bioregional extinction and the aim program is to collect seeds from remaining provenances while they are still extant.
Studying the seed biology of each species is an ongoing requirement for curating the collection. A large component of the research undertaken at the Centre is to investigate methods to overcome dormancy mechanisms in native seeds so they can be used for restoration.
- Images and data complied during the collection and curation of the seeds are made publicly accessible via the Seeds of South Australia website. The website is a work in progress, but it already contains information for over 2,000 plant species and provides information to assist community and industry-based restoration projects.
- See what the Centre’s Seed Hunters have been up to by checking out their blog.
- Check out a list of the Seed Centre's current projects.
- Find out about how the Centre is helping inspire the next generation of South Australian environmental custodians through the schools SEEDS project.
- Find out about some of our most threatened plants on the Seeds of South Australia website.
Learn about three of SA’s most threatened endemic species
Discover three plant that were presumed extinct but have recently been discovered to be still extant
The South Australian Seed Conservation Centre is proudly supported by Santos, CMV Foundation, Thyne Reid Foundation and Antony & Mary Lou Simpson.