Latest blog stories connected with horticulture at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Apr 202017
Prickly phyllodes

Acacia verticillata in flower on the front glasshouse border. A mass of mini citrus yellow bottle brushes. The flowers are a mass of densely packed stamens. The sharp phyllodes are evergreen and borne in whorls around the stem. A native to South Australia where it grows as a small tree or multi-stemmed shrub.     […]

Apr 112017
Mountain Pulsatilla

Pulsatilla turczaninovii, a plant from  seed collected on the Russian Altay where it grew on the banks of the River Bashkaus. Sown and grown and now flowering on the tufa outcrop in front of the alpine house. Found growing at low altitude, 426m, in association with Geranium and Iris; also woody flora, Rhododendron, Betula and […]

Apr 052017
The genus Magnolia

A selection of the Magnolia species and cultivars are in full flower at RBGE. These magnificent trees are at their best when the sun shines and the air is still. Overnight frost combined with early sun and gales are the weather conditions that bring these showy flowers to an early and untimely end. Best grown […]

Mar 302017
Campylopus introflexus, an invasive alien on the glasshouse roof

The moss Campylopus introflexus, native to the southern hemisphere, is now considered an invasive plant in parts of Europe and North America. While it occurs on some natural sites within Edinburgh, notably on Arthur’s Seat, it is also no stranger to man-made habitats. At the Botanics, the species forms large tactile ball-like clumps between the […]

Mar 292017
Volunteering at the Botanics - bryophytes in our living landscape

There are very few bryophytes growing in the living collections of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. What I mean by this is that there are very few bryophytes that we have carefully selected as wild plants, and have planted and nurtured as part of our curated collection, databased and in possession of accession numbers. On […]

Mar 292017
Building on building mosses, a return to Schistidium in the built environment

Monday 27th March was the start of a month-long visit to RBGE by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics‘s Dr Wolfgang Hofbauer, funded by the EU Synthesys Access programme. This funding enables researchers from other institutes to get their hands on the natural history collections that they need to see and understand, but it is […]

Mar 232017
Rhododendron siderophyllum

Look out for Rhododendron siderophyllum planted at the bottom of the Chinese hillside.  A small plant with evergreen leaves that give off an aromatic smell when touched or following a rainstorm. Flowers are a pink bud opening pink and fading to white. The tubular corolla opens out to spread petals and stamens of uneven length. […]

Mar 212017
Central Asian Juno Iris

A first flowering at RBGE for Iris zaprjagajewii one of the dwarf Juno Iris. Collected by members of the alpine and rock garden team on an expedition to Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan. A white flowered species with delicate black pencil like lines and a yellow stripe on the falls.  By way of contrast, Iris […]

Mar 142017
Colour in the Rhododendron collection

A fine specimen is Rhododendron hunnewellianum, planted by the laundry building near Inverleith House.  Best seen from the pathway and lawn nearby as it is a top heavy plant, towering six meters with a mass of blooms covering its evergreen canopy. The flower trusses open from a light pink to a delicate pink/white. The inner […]

Mar 072017
The purple plum

Flowering in many gardens is Prunus cerasifera or one of its many forms. A welcome reminder that spring is arriving. A native to the Caucasus and now found growing in many gardens throughout the country. Flower colour is variable from white through pink to purple. This variability is also seen in the foliage, which colours […]