A spermatotheca is a collection of fruits preserved for taxonomic purposes and is used to identify taxa via morphological comparisons. Unlike germplasm banks, spermatothecae do not need to store fertile seeds; this is why they receive a cold treatment in the freezer. Seeds loose they viability but prevents the growth of fungi or parasites. Subsequently, seeds are stored at constant temperature and humidity in the herbarium.
The spermatotheca of the Botanical Institute of Barcelona (IBB) includes only the very characteristic fruits of the Apiaceae, which by themselves allow the identification of the whole plant. This fruit collection, currently with 535 units, was donated in 2011 by Samuel Pyke, taxonomist at the Botanical Garden of Barcelona. The whole collection is digitalized and includes samples of 227 taxa. Most representative genera include Bupleurum, Peucedanum, Daucus, Pimpinella, Laserpitium, Seseli and Torilis with more than 20 samples each. Collections have been carried out mainly in Spain, Morocco and the United Kingdom between 1996 and 2013. It is an open collection with permanent growth.
This collection is available at GBIF on the following link (exportation date: November 2019).