Alfred Wallace and the Tricolored Jewel

When Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace presented their joint paper ‘on the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by…

May 2019 Garden Wildlife Report

May 2019 was both wetter (72.8 mm, 143% of long-term average) and sunnier (188.9 hours, 167% of average) than usual. For the most part it was cool, and…

May 2019 Garden Wildlife Report

Three white flowers to cheer us into midsummer week

A member of the Iris family, Iridaceae, Diplarrena latifolia has individual flowers of interesting shape composed of six tepals. The three largest pure white, the smaller tepals have…

Orchid appears in Living Lawn

Next to the Front Range and within sight of the Library and Herbarium two small squares of lawn have been transformed into flower-rich ‘living lawns’ as part of…

A Blueprint for Wellbeing

One of the workshops at this years Connect with Nature Conference was titled “A Blueprint for Wellbeing”. It was a collaborative experiment between artist Natalie Taylor and medical…

Microsculpture on your door step

Guest blog by Ashleigh Whiffin, entomologist (NMS) The breath-taking Microsculpture exhibition of insect portraits opens at RBGE later this month and it’s no secret that I’m a little…

Yellow pea flowers

Vigorous, young plants of Piptanthus nepalensis are flowering in the border near the wash house in the Garden. The bright, fresh yellow of the flowers are welcome as…

a botanical glimpse

We were delighted to be approached by graduating MA Art, Space and Nature student from the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), Audrey Yeo. Audrey presented a botanical glimpse…

Statuesque finale to the bowl of stewed Rhubarb

When the clump of Rhubarb in your garden sends up a flower spike this is the time to stop pulling the stalks for stewing down. The elongated leaf…

Herbarium-inspired poetry

This Sunday, 2 June 2019, there is a chance to hear poetry read in the Botanic Cottage, with afternoon tea and nature-inspired poems from award-winning and widely published…

A sight of Silver

A wet day brings out the best in the Alchemillas. Alchemilla alpina is one of the smaller growing species, native to Europe and Greenland. This clump forming herb…

Bells by the dozen

On the western edge of the copse are specimens of Enkianthus chinensis flowering in profusion. The bell shaped flowers are produced by the dozen in pendulous racemes, held…

DNA sequence variation within the common urban moss Grimmia pulvinata

Even with a plant as common, and as commonly overlooked, as this pollution-tolerant urban bryophyte, there is still genetic diversity to explore and explain.

The first steps towards the Flora of Myanmar

In collaboration with New York Botanic Garden, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is producing the first botanical inventory of the highly diverse Northern Forest Complex in the Hkakaborazi-Hponganrazi landscape, Myanmar. This is a first critical step towards producing a Flora of Myanmar.

Subtle sight

Planted in the early 1990’s from seed collected in Canada, (though native to eastern north America) the large crowned Juglans cinerea is flowering for the first time. Take…

Mystery of the angiosperms just got deeper

The most comprehensive study yet finds a baffling “gap” in the history of plant life on earth. The angiosperms – or flowering plants – are by far the…

Herbarium Recuration & Increasing the Resolution of South Asia

Traditionally at RBGE region 5 has included Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. At present this area contains over 400,000 specimens. Creating subdivisions within region 5 make the specimens easier to access for researchers.

Science festival

Festival Fun with Frankenstein’s Plants

This year for the first time, the herbarium team ran Frankenstein’s Plants, an event for the Edinburgh Science Festival. Participants were able to build their very own unique…

A benefit of the mild winter and fine spring

Cistus albidus, collected by one of our former curators, Ron McBeath is flowering in the border at the alpine area. Seed was collected in Spain from the parent…