18 January 2016

The Australian PlantBank

When I was a child, I wanted to be a botanist (not that I knew that word then; I just wanted to understand plants). Plants and their pieces fascinated me and I often pulled apart flowers to see what was inside. I could never understand how all these parts could somehow make new plants. 

When I discovered how seeds grow, I was astonished. Warmth and moisture - that's all it took for most of them to germinate, to create new life. It amazed me then and, I confess, it still does. Simply magic.

On Saturday, I took part in an art workshop held at The Australian PlantBank (I'll write about the workshop later on my other blog). 

Do you know about PlantBank? From their website:

"The Australian PlantBank is a science and research facility of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust and is located at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan. It houses the Trust's seedbank and research laboratories that specialise in horticultural research and conservation of Australian native plant species, particularly those from New South Wales."

In other words, this is where real, live botanists work! 

I was fascinated to see all these plants being reproduced by tissue culture. 

There are public tours at PlantBank and also an app you can download that will give you a guide to the collection. This facility is a national treasure, where even the seats are pod-shaped!

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