Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank

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United States of America - OR - Portland

Institution Code: BERR

BGCI Member: Yes

About the Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank

The Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Program was established at Portland State University in 2011. The Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank continues the work of The Berry Botanic Garden Seed Bank for Rare and Endangered Plants of the Pacific Northwest, which had been in operation for 28 years before moving to Portland State University. The brainchild of Molly McGuire Grothaus, ours is, as far as we know, the first seed bank in the USA and maybe even the first in the world dedicated exclusively to conserving rare native plants.

We currently hold more than 18,000 accessions, consisting of packets of seed, representing over 350 of our region's rarest and most vulnerable plants. These seeds constitute an 'insurance policy' against the extirpation in the wild of sampled populations or species. They are held primarily for use in reintroductions to the wild and rare plant research. Some seeds have been stored for over two decades!

Seed banking is one form of plant conservation. Because such efforts take place away from the plants' natural habitats, they are called off-site, or ex situ conservation.

The Berry Botanic Garden began as the personal collection of a remarkable plantswoman, Rae Selling Berry (1881-1976). We maintained this extraordinary landscape in the service of education, conservation and horticulture, until the dissolution of the Garden organization in 2010. Portland State University welcomed the Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank as one of its conservation programs in 2011.

Main Address:
Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank
Portland State University
1719 SW 10th Ave, Rm B1-81
OR 97201 United States of America

Telephone: 5037252468
URL: pdx.edu/seed-bank
Primary Email: kfreitag@pdx.edu

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Gabriel Campbell PhD
    Curator's Name: Kris Freitag, Program Administrator
    Plant Records Officer's Name:
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 1
    Educational Staff Number: 1
    Research Staff Number: 2
    Administration Staff Number: 1

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Gene/Seed Bank
  • Status
  • Status: Private: No
    Status: State: Yes
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Municipal: No
    Status: Satellite: No
    Status: Trust: No
  • Date founded: 1983
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: No
  • Landscaped Area: No
  • Latitude: 45.512804
    Longitude: -122.68660
    Altitude: 0.00 Metres

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: No
    Arboretum: No
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: No
    Seed Bank: Yes
    Published Plant Catalogue: No
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: No
    Retail Outlet: Shop: No
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: No
    Disabled access: Yes

Plant Collections

  • Special Collections:Seed bank with long-term storage capacity, containing over 25,000 accessions representing more than 600 species (2022 figures).

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: Yes
    Reintroduction Programme: Yes

Research Programmes

  • Plant Breeding: No
    Conservation - Biology: Yes
    Education: Yes
    Exploration: No
    Restoration Ecology: Yes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: No
    Guided Tours: Yes