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'The Last Great Plant Hunt': The story of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank

Kew Publishing brings you the fascinating story of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank which has been described by Sir David Attenborough as, 'perhaps the most significant conservation initiative ever'. The book will be a great read for all of those who care about our environment and the future of plants.

Illustrated with spectacular images, this book arrives at a time when it has never been more important to conserve seeds from all plant species. As humans adapt to a changing climate and planet, there is a pressing need for wild plant seed banks and the plants they contain. Consequently, an urgent mission is underway to conserve all of the world's plant diversity. Kew's Millennium Seed Bank is a unique global asset - it is the largest seed bank of its kind in the world (dedicated to wild plant species) and contains the world's most diverse seed collections.

Over the past 10 years more than 3.5 billion seeds from nearly 25,000 species have been collected and stored in seed banks both in their country of origin and in Kew's Millennium Seed Bank.

In October 2009, Kew's Millennium Seed Bank celebrated collecting, banking and conserving 10% of the world's wild plant species and the partnership now spans more than 120 institutions in 54 countries.

The Last Great Plant Hunt takes the reader on a journey that encompasses some of the most beautiful and threatened habitats and plants on Earth from the deserts of Australia through the alpine meadows of China to the rainforests of Madagascar. It explains the process of collecting and taking care of seeds, the uses of banked seed, and the future of seed conservation worldwide. It includes profiles of seed hunters, fascinating stories of 'treasure hunts' and gives readers an insight into the threats to wild plants, such as the impact of industrialisation on the depletion of the world's flora.


Contact: Kew Press Office
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

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