The ARCHE NOAH Seed Bank

The treasure of seeds...

The ARCHE NOAH Seed Bank is one of Europe’s biggest private collections of cultivated plants, maintaining about 5,500 accessions of rare vegetables and grains – many of them are not found anywhere else.

The Seedbank

Breeding, description and research

The only way to ensure crop diversity in the long term is to regularly and skillfully regenerate the seed stock. Fresh, strong seeds and well-founded knowledge of plants are both the beginning and the end of the cycle. And we are happy to pass this knowledge on!

The breeding, description und research on these plants is carried out in a special (organic!) breeding garden.

Special requests to the seed bank: The ARCHE NOAH Seed Bank answers to requests for experimental and comparative purposes by providing seeds from the archive at an expense allowance, depending on the amount of seeds available.

Mieze Schindler

The fruit collection

Fruit trees live for a long time, but not forever! Only collecting missions, careful characterisation, maintenance in several places and passing on knowledge can prevent very rare local varieties from extinction.

Due to the long life span of fruit trees, many local varieties have survived over time, although little importance has been given to them. However, most of these trees today are old and urgently need to produce "offspring". ARCHE NOAH pomologists--as fruit experts are known--research, document, advise, and graft, in order to halt the impending loss of old varieties. The ARCHE NOAH fruit collection currently encompasses several fruit conservation orchards with hundreds of trees and berry bushes all over Austria, as well as a fruit database with more than 900 varieties on 3,200 mapped trees.

ARCHE NOAH has huge collections of fruits and berries, which are partly kept in the visitor’s garden, but most of them have been “adopted” by members and are preserved in different private orchards.


The potato collection

The maintenance of more than 200 rare potato varieties is really hard work – all of the varieties have to be planted and harvested every single year. Organic farmers from the “Waldviertel” region assist in fulfilling this task.



Mag.a Michaela Arndorfer
Bereichsleitung Sammlungen & Samenarchiv
T: +43 (0)2734 8626-216