The Millennium Seed Bank: saving plants for the future

Cardiospermum halicacabum seeds

Cardiospermum halicacabum seeds. Image by H. Zell (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

To celebrate passing my PhD viva recently my parents gave me an “Adopt a Seed” from the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, Kew. It was a brilliant present to get me and I was really excited when I received my adoption pack in the post last week. You don’t actually get any seeds when you “Adopt a Seed” but you do get a certificate and a photo, as well as updates on the Millennium Seed Bank.

My adopted seed is from Cardiospermum halicacabum, which originates from tropical America (1). A vine growing up to 3 m long, it has inflated seed capsules that give it the name “love in a puff”. The latin name comes from the Greek kardia (heart) and sperma (seed). I am so excited by my present that I have named C.  halicacabum Organism of the Month here at Plant Scientist. Continue reading