Seed Collection

Seed collection

The Collectio Seminum et Fructuum comprises fruit and seeds of plants living mainly in botanical gardens. This material is basically collected for propagation and exchange purposes, however, it is also useful for morphological studies. Storing these seeds under certain conditions can serve as a natural gene bank as well.
The first data on the origins of the collection are known from 1822. At that time, the fruit and seed stock comprised 100 species. By the turn of the century, mainly exotic materials were added to the collection (from New Guinea and The Philippines). In the 1930s, several Hungarian botanists and benefactors contributed to the collection, but this rich and varied material was practically destroyed during World War II.

In regard to the reanimation of the collection, a new impetus was given by the purchase of László Vajda’s 700 items in 1961.  By 1970, already 3,650 capsules were preserved in the Seed Collection.

In the end of the 1980’s our museum obtained the entire material of the Vácrátót Botanical Garden, docketing of which is still under process.

Staff
Curator: Erzsébet Szurdoki
Preparator: Erzsébet György

Collection size
22,480 inventoried specimens

Remarkable personalities and collections
In the 1930s, several Hungar­ian botanists and amateurs contributed to our collection. Guidó Királyfalvi Gerhardt was one of the most important benefactors, who donated his valuable materials to the Botanical Department in 1939.

From the collectors, Vera Csapody’s name should be emphasized; her efforts were significant in the development of the Seed Collection.

In regards to the remarkable collections, the Vácrátót material is considered to be important as 80% of it originates from different botanical gardens from all over the world, while the Quercus material of Kotschy represents most oak species of the Earth.

Availability
Database of the whole collection is available and allows searching by accession number, species (subspecies) name, country, locality or Botanical Garden, date of collecting and collector’s name.

The collection is open for visitors by appointment only.
Most collection materials are available for loan and scientific examination for external researchers.
To discuss any of your requests, please contact our curator szurdoki@nhmus.hu.

Research loans
Loan policy statement (PDF)
Loan agreement (DOC)

On-site examination
Terms and Conditions (PDF)
Research permit form (DOC)