The Germplasm Bank of the Botanical Garden of Castilla-La Mancha was started in early 2008, within the project “Creation of a germplasm bank of threatened wild flora in the Botanical Garden of Castilla-La Mancha”, funded by the local Government of Castilla-La Mancha Region. The main goal was to conserve orthodox seeds (those which tolerate desiccation up to 4-5% of water content and low temperatures) of threatened plant species. However, the status range of taxa included in the collection has been increasing as the project progressed. Up to June 2011, 577 accessions of 415 autochthonous taxa, belonging to 60 phanerogam families, were conserved. Many of them (164) are threatened taxa (those included in the Red List of Spanish Vascular Flora and/or the Regional Catalogue of Threatened Species of Castilla-La Mancha), in correspondence with the original vocation of the bank, i.e. ex situ conservation of plant taxa with narrow geographical range. In addition, many accessions (93) in the bank belong to species with forest interest included in the Strategy for Conservation and Sustainable Use of Genetic Forest Resources. The remaining 320 accessions correspond to species with ornamental, aromatic, and medicinal interest.
Keywords: seed bank, ex situ conservation, long term seed storage, Castilla – La Mancha Botanical Garden.