Latest science blog posts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Oct 282014
Online Resources for Taxonomic Research

Names and Nomenclature When tracking down published scientific names, and their places of publication, IPNI, The Plant List and Tropicos are the three primary websites. The other listed sites are useful for interpreting abbreviations and following up on nomenclatural matters. International Plant Names Index (IPNI), includes Index Kewensis, the Gray Card Index (Harvard University), and […]

Oct 212014
BioBlitz finds hummingbirds at Logan

Well alright not real hummingbirds. The closest thing we have in Britain is the equally spectacular humming-bird hawk-moth. This extraordinary day-flying moth put in an appearance in the middle of the recent BioBlitz at Logan and confirmed the moths as a real highlight of the event. A BioBlitz aims to record as many species in […]

Oct 142014
Wild Rice in Isleworth, 1790

Looking into the cabinets of the RBGE herbarium never fails to turn up a surprise. Today I was looking for specimens that might have come from the almost entirely destroyed collection of John Hope, our great Enlightenment Regius Keeper. I went to see if there were any specimens of wild rice (Zizania palustris), a North […]

Oct 092014
New plant for Midlothian found in Botanics

Discovery of a plant previously unknown in an area is not what you might expect to happen within a botanic garden. Such places have large managed collections of introduced plants that grow alongside relatively few wild plants. Wild plants in this context are often small and may be tolerated, like mosses and their relations, or […]

Sep 162014
Flora of Nepal Expedition 2014. Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan Balsam).

We all know this plant too well from colonising river banks, cycle paths and becoming an increasing problem in as an invasive plant in the UK. Its native range is the west Himalaya and listed as possibly native to Nepal. Dr Colin Pendry who has a decade of field experience is often asked if  he […]

Sep 042014
Really Wild Veg - first results and Aberdeen event

Now that we are coming to harvest time we will shortly be able to measure the crops in the Really Wild Veg trials to see how they have performed. Obvious things to measure are yield and disease resistance, but a fun part of the trial is tasting the crops to see whether there is any […]