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Distributed for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Last Great Plant Hunt

The Story of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank

With a Foreword by HRH Prince of Wales

With climate change posing an escalating threat to biodiversity, the need for humans to conserve seeds from all plant species is increasingly critical. In the fight against extinction, Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank is a unique global asset. The largest wild plant seed bank in the world, it contains the world’s most diverse seed collection, comprising more than three-and-a-half billion seeds from nearly twenty-five thousand distinct species.

The Last Great Plant Hunt describes the vital work of the Millennium Seed Bank project and its partner organizations which are now found in more than fifty countries worldwide. From the collection and care of seeds to their use in conservation research, all practical aspects of seed storage are discussed. Additional chapters consider the future of global seed conservation. Timely and informed, TheLast Great Plant Hunt recounts the history and details the mission of this impressive and ever more necessary international conservation effort.

192 pages | 155 color plates | 10 2/8 x 11 2/8 | © 2011

Biological Sciences: Botany

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“This book explores the [Millennium Seed Bank] and succinctly and effectively discusses the importance of seeds. . . . The quality of the text and photography is excellent, but do not consign this book to the coffee table. Read it and, if suitably influenced by the urgency of this work, support their quest in any way you can.”


“Filled with striking color photographs (many full page) of plants and seeds from all over the world, the volume looks like it should be on a coffee table, rather than in an academic library. . . . Informative and inspiring.”


Table of Contents

Foreword by HRH Prince of Wales

1. What is the last great plant hunt?
2. Conserving wild plants on a global scale
3. In search of the world’s seeds
4. The science of saving seeds for posterity
5. Sharing knowledge and putting seeds to work
6. Breathing life into degraded ecosystems

Further reading
Photography credits

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