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Exchanges of plants between institutions

Ornemental grasses of the Japanese Garden in autumnal colours.
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Gilles Murray)
Ornamental grasses of the Japanese Garden in autumnal colours.

Botanical gardens, arboretums and scientific institutions sometimes exchange plants in the form of cuttings or grafts. However, access to plant material is mainly through seed catalogues (also known as an “Index Seminum”). Most botanical institutions across the world publish an Index Seminum.

The exchanged seeds come from both wild and cultivated plants. Seeds from wild plants generally come from the region or country where the institution is located, and are representative of its local or national plants. They come to us with valuable harvesting data.

Seeds from around the world

The Index Seminum plays a fundamental role in the development of botanical collections by facilitating access to certain species that are rarely available from other sources. Publishing our own Index seminum gives us access to this vast international seed exchange network.

Seeds offered in an Index Seminum are only for educational, conservation or research purposes and have no commercial value. These exchanges take place between botanical gardens, arboretums and scientific institutions, in the spirit of the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity (1992), of which Canada is a signatory. The objectives of this convention are the following: conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of biological resources and fair and just use of the benefits of these resources.

Adapted text from an article by Denis Barabé and Édith Morin in Quatre-Temps magazine, vol. 17, no. 1.

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