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Emil Zivney Seed Collection
The seed lab is proud to present the Emil Zivney Seed Collection in a dedicated, permanent display space. Several hundred of the largest and most interesting seeds, pods and artwork are displayed, most with identification and other information. If you wish to view or study other portions of this massive collection, please make arrangements in advance.
The collection includes seeds of over 20,000 individual species, over 4,000 seed pods, seed crafts and jewelry, and is one of the largest privately amassed collections in the world. Particularly notable specimens include:
- Coco-de-mer or double coconut (Lodoicea maldivica), from the Seychelles, the world’s largest seed. Zivney called it his “number one seed” and relates that it took many years to find a source for it. His family recalls that he had given up and then three years later a package arrived! It was obvious that it had been opened, inspected and repacked numerous times on its voyage across the ocean to his doorstep.
- Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), a seed that germinates and roots while attached to the parent tree.
- Zanonia macrocarpa, a round seed with a large wing. The flying wing airplane design can be traced to this seed.
- Paradise nut (Lecythis zabucajo) from the Amazon rainforest.
- Giant liana (Ehtada pursaetha), an African vine whose seed pod is over 3 feet long.
Only a small portion of the collection is displayed in these cases; most is being stored awaiting funds and additional display space. Over the years, the labels and tags identifying the seeds in the collection have started to deteriorate. Emil Zivney's family recognized the need for on-going maintenance of the collection and established an endowment to help meet this need. If you would like to contribute to the Zivney funds or create a separate fund to help in this project, please contact the OSU Seed Lab at 541-737-4464, the OSU Crop Science Department or the OSU Foundation.