Huge seed bank breaks ground / 100 nations’ post-doomsday plan


The Norwegians are doing their part for disaster preparedness by building a "doomsday vault" that will house all the seeds we might need to re-start civilization after a global catastrophe.  The seed bank is managed by the Global Crop Diversity Trust and will include such "priority crops" as bananas, beans, corn, and rice.

Kudzu It’s kind of a Noah’s Ark for plants.  Who gets on board and who doesn’t?  Will there be a space in the vault for, say, kudzu?  Bindweed?  Oxalis?

Other plants we would just as soon dispense with in this post-apocalyptic garden:

  1. Petunias.  Most bedding annuals, in fact.
  2. Vinca minor groundcover
  3. English ivy.
  4. Pittosporum
  5. Cardboard-flavored grocery store tomatoes.  We can do better next time.

And if these aren’t on board, we’re not going:

  1. Lilac, dogwood, cherry, magnolia.
  2. Sweet pea, wisteria, jasmine
  3. Salvias, all salvias.
  4. Real tomatoes: ‘Green Zebra,’ ‘Black from Tula,’ ‘Jaune Flammee’
  5. Poppies. Daffodils.  Lavender.

Oh, never mind–just call us for a complete list.

San Francisco Chronicle: Huge seed bank breaks ground / 100 nations’ post-doomsday plan.


  1. I saw this this morning, too, and will link to your post from my blog when I get a chance to post this afternoon — I love your list! I completely agree on the grocery store tomatoes…

    I suspect y’all will crucify me for this one…but could we make sure we have gerberas in the vault? I know…cliche…but I love them so…


  2. Although invasive, Pittosporum undulatum can be a very handsome landscape tree, and it smells wonderful. There are many plants more worthy of scorn. Like all the other pittosporums.

    Really, though, with a very few exceptions (some of which you just listed), it is not plants that should be consigned to the flames, but the people who abuse them.

  3. Passiflora incarnata — the “Maypop” which is hardy in Zone 5.

    Ipomoea purpurea ‘Heavenly Blue.’

    Sweet pea, definitely — but must be the heirloom varieties, with that lovely fragrance. (Apparently perennial sweet pea is invasive.)

    Nasturtiums, particularly “Cherry Rose” and “Moonlight.”

    Lobelia erinus ‘Crystal Palace.’ Purple so intense it hurts the eyes to look at it.

  4. Aww, don’t be too hard on the petunias — or perhaps you were planning to hoard the only stash yourself so that post-apocalypse they’d be rare and therefore highly desirable? 😉

    Now don’t forget:

    Real strawberries. Not the ones that taste like plastic.

    Golden raspberries. And red ones. And black ones.


    Blueberries. Any kind. Lots and lots of ’em.

    Interlaken grapes. Sweet, green, seedless, ambrosia.

  5. I looked it up, and some scientist estimates there are close to 422,000 species of flowering plants on the planet. So, I’m having a hard time picking which ones to include. Can we get some of all of them?

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