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

Jan 112017
Save a seed pod

The long arching seed pods of Glaucium flavum are splitting lengthways into longitudinal sections. The seeds long gone, now just sections of the pithy packaging remain within. Found growing along the shoreline with a wide geographical distribution, Europe, North Africa, SW Asia. The specimen at the Garden is in the Scottish native bed where the […]

Jan 102017
Fresh and golden start to the year

During the short days it is good to have flowering plants in the garden; Lonicera myrtillus is a low growing deciduous shrub. The fresh yellow tubular flowers hang down from the previous year’s growth. Shy to flower, they open in pairs with immature flower buds protected within the calyx.  Seasonally, flowering can be erratic, there […]

Jan 042017
Review of the year 2016

January 2016 dawned with a frost, only – 0.4°c, but still a frost. This, following the wettest month for more than a century. December 2015 was also the warmest since 1910 with an average UK temperature of 7.9°c compared to the normal average of 4.1°c for the month of December. Temperatures tumbled as we approached […]

Dec 202016
The browns have it

As a base layer, the colour brown dominates at this time of year. Ideal as a foundation layer to the glitz of Christmas. Stephanandra tanakae has fine warmth of colouration in the receding leaves. The sterile sepals of the Lacecap Hydrangea, H. macrophylla ‘Lilacina’ remain throughout winter protecting the dormant buds beneath. Now brown, in […]

Dec 132016
Disintegrating seed pods

Sitting in an exposed site within the rock garden are plants of Alyssoides utriculata. This short lived woody perennial has seed capsules that resemble bladders. It is found in central Europe, growing on cliffs through the Alps and the Balkan ranges. With the onset of winter the delicate cellulose structure disintegrates, leaving the lignin outline […]

Dec 062016
Distinctly different

Two Euonymus sieboldianus are planted side by side in the Garden arising from two different collecting expeditions. They are deciduous branched shrubs covered in fruit; each plant having a different hue of fruit, glowing as the low sun sets. Both were collected in Honshu Province where the parent plants grew on Mount Hakusan (20031043) and […]

Nov 302016
Snake bark maple

Now that the foliage is clearing from the deciduous canopies the full beauty of the trunk of Acer pensylvanicum is revealed. This seedling is now eight years old; it has developed good striations vertically down the length of the trunk and around the branches. A mixture of white, green and grey shades are ideal as […]

Nov 302016
Update: North Sulawesi Fieldwork, continued...

Following the recent fieldwork update from Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park, this report comes from the Gunung Ambang Nature Reserve, part of complex of volcanoes in the Bolaang Mongondow and East Bolaang Mongondow regencies of North Sulawesi. The nature reserve, named after one of the active volcanoes within, comprises an area of approximately 8,600 hectares. […]

Nov 282016
Elephants foot yam ( Arid house)

  Elephant’s foot yam Family: Dioscoreaceae Description Elephant’s foot yam is a spectacular shrubby climber, which grows up to 1.5m high. It has a huge tuber reaching a diameter of up to 75cm, which is mainly exposed above ground. The epidermis (skin) of the tuber is greyish-brown and hard, with numerous small plates of thick […]

Nov 222016
Fermenting apples

Sorbus harrowiana is not the best specimen for displaying ornamental fruit but it does have a related back story. It is native to SW China where, as can be seen from the attached image, the leaf size is one of the largest of the genus; composed of up to four pairs of leaflets and one […]