The Jardin des Plantes seed collection

The seed collection at the Jardin des Plantes was created in 1822 by André Thouin, an eminent botanist and agronomist who directed the Garden agriculture and culture Chair at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. In addition to a collection of living seeds (the seed bank), there is also a collection of dried seeds and fruits, known as the “séminothèque-carpothèque” (dried seed and fruit library).

This reference collection contains fruit dried or preserved in alcohol, of interest as heritage and for teaching, and above all a very large collection of dead seeds, conserved in bagged paper envelopes and classified. It represents a great potential for future work into seed morphology.

This reference collection is divided in two:

  • global flora (25,000 samples): this collection is mainly made up of fruits and seeds brought back by generations of naturalist botanists from their various journeys across all the continents, from 1860 to the present day.

  • French flora (5,000 samples): these seeds come from the different regions and biotopes of France and were collected from the 1950s up to the present day.

Additionally, the glass cases house fruits and seeds that are sometimes spectacular in their specific shapes and colours and thus aptly illustrate a great diversity and astonishing adaptation to their natural habitats. They provide an interesting means of teaching about the specimens.

To find out more about the Jardin des Plantes collections

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