Mosaics from the heritage of ELTE - November 2023

The object of the month – Lodoicea maldivica

The 12,000-item seed collection of the ELTE Botanical Garden is a comparative collection. The lots are kept at room temperature, so most of the species are not suitable for long-term preservation - in a state capable of germinating.

The compilation of the first items can be done at the end of the 19th century, and then the significantly increased material was damaged in World War II. When Szaniszló Priszter moved to the Botanical Garden, he took over and tidied up the damaged (broken vials) collection, which received a tray cabinet made for this purpose. The cabinet was moved from the foyer of the office to the botanical room, and then in 2017 to its final location, the upstairs core room.

The collection continues to grow to this day, for example, in recent years, a huge sea bean (Entada rheedii) with pods similar to a pea, almost half a meter long, and a Maldivian nut (Lodoicea maldivica), which can reach 25 kilograms in its habitat, as a gift from András Neményi. In the meantime, the collection, which continues to grow to this day, has also outgrown the closet. In 2015, with the participation of volunteers, the construction of the photographic database of the collection began, as well as the digitization of its data, which continues with the involvement of volunteers and university students.

Written by László Papp

Source/author of illustration:
ELTE Botanical Garden