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Friday, March 21, 2014

New Tours of the Australian PlantBank

Visitors to the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan now have the unique opportunity to visit an exciting new scientific research facility on a free guided tour of the new Australian PlantBank.

Opened last October by Governor Her Excellency Marie Bashir, the $20 million PlantBank facility aims to house seeds from all of Australia’s 25,000 native plant species in order to conserve the country’s flora for the future. Australian Plant Bank
“Just as we need a bank to safeguard our money, we also need a bank to safeguard our plants,” Garden Director Caz McCallum said. “Our new team of dedicated volunteer guides at PlantBank will take you on a journey to discover the hidden world of seeds.”
Designed to withstand fire and other threats, the remarkable new facility will allow scientists to recreate native plants that may become extinct in the future through incidents such as bushfires. Plants in the laboratories are stored as seeds, through tissue culture or cryogenically with temperatures as low as -196°C.
The free tours will take place on weekends at 11am and 1pm. and will show visitors where conservation collections are researched, grown and banked, and encourage them to learn more about Australia’s diverse flora. Tours on weekdays are also available
When:  Saturdays and Sundays, 11am & 1pm and on selected weekdays. Visitors are advised to contact the Visitor Centre to confirm tour sessions and times.
Where: The Australian PlantBank, the Australian Botanic Garden, Narellan Road, Mount Annan, in Macarthur
Cost:      Free
Enquiries: 4634 7935 or www.macarthur.com.au
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