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Request seed

Through the UK Native Seed Hub, Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) makes more than 700 collections of seed available for conservation and habitat restoration in the UK, in an endeavour to promote the use of high quality, appropriate–origin plant material.

 REQUEST SEED

Seeds in the Millennium Seed Bank vault

Seed is dried, cleaned, viability tested and verified by world leading staff at the MSB and Herbarium. Storage to international standards prolongs the life span of seed by tens or hundreds of years. Image ©RBG Kew

You can use the search function to view the whole catalogue or search for specific collections. Once you have made your selection, a summary of your requests will be provided with a price. Before submitting your request, we will ask you to provide information about your organisation, how you intend to use the seed and the location and growing conditions at your site.

All requests are reviewed before acceptance, usually within five business days. If necessary, the UKNSH team will contact you to discuss your request further. We will invoice you for payment only after your request has been accepted.

We reserve the right to decline seed requests at our own discretion.

About our seed

All of our seed collections are of UK native origin and contain at least 75% viable seeds according to viability tests carried out in the Millennium Seed Bank. 

Most have been collected directly from the wild in accordance with the MSB’s collecting protocols. We are bulking up some of these wild collections on our seed production site at Wakehurst Place – these larger regenerated collections are also available via the seed list.


Who is eligible?

Our seed collections have been established over many years with the support of partner organisations and volunteers. They are a unique and precious resource.

For this reason, seed is available to organisations able to use the material successfully and make a genuine contribution to nature conservation in the UK. This includes a broad range of uses, from community initiatives to landscape-scale projects. We cannot distribute seed for general garden use or for onward sale to others.

We are also keen to ensure seed is appropriate for the intended site and is able to form healthy and sustainable reintroduced populations without damaging existing habitats or species. Information about the source location and habitat of our collections is available in the list to help you find the right seed.

For more detailed information and advice, please email seedhub@kew.org.

Seed distribution is subject to the terms of our Licence agreement, which you must accept before submitting your request.


Availability and pricing

To ensure enough material is available to respond to a number of requests we have imposed a maximum order size for each collection, varying according to the number of seeds held in the MSB.

If you require larger quantities of seed we have the capacity to bulk up collections at Wakehurst Place. For larger, landscape-scale quantities of seed, bulking-up may be undertaken by a commercial native seed producer. For more information, email seedhub@kew.org.

Seed is provided on a not-for-profit basis, with prices reflecting the costs of collecting, processing and storing seed at the MSB. For regenerated collections, pricing also includes the cost of producing and harvesting seed. Small collections cost more per seed to collect, process and store, and are consequently more expensive.

Charges are used to support the recollection of the seed supplied, ensuring that our UK collections remain a sustainable resource for conservation and habitat restoration.


Despatch

Seed can be requested at any time and will be reserved for you until we receive your payment. To maintain the highest possible viability, seed will be stored without charge in the MSB until it is needed, to a maximum of 5 years.

When submitting your request we will ask you to tell us when you intend to make your first sowing. Seed will be dispatched to you at least four weeks in advance of this date. Seed is packaged in sealed foil bags at 15% equilibrium relative humidity, the optimum for long-term seed storage. These bags should be stored unopened in a refrigerator or other cool place until just before sowing.


Adjusted seed numbers

We supply the requested number of viable seed - the exact number of seeds provided is likely to be higher to account for any non-viable seed. 


Further online seed support

Small quantities of seed, typically 60 seeds or less may still be requested via the main Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) seed list.

Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) global seed list

We offer germination information and wild seed collecting protocols.