Xanthoria parietina

Spinning a Yarn

Over the past year, Glasgow based artist Simone Landwehr-Traxler has been studying some of the lichen specimens in the Herbarium at RBGE from the islands of Scotland.   Her…

Betula alleghaniensis

First frost and autumn colour

Early sunshine and heavy dew this morning, yet on the front lawns the dew had crystallised as the first ground frost of autumn. With it are signs of…

In memory of Lance Corporal Samuel Stewart (1883-1917)

The RBGE Guild’s publications are invaluable to those researching RBGE’s 20th century history. Based on Kew Garden’s Guild which is still in existence, ours was established in 1913…

Diploma in Botanical Illustration 2017 Graduation Show

Visit the Diploma in Botanical Illustration show in the Fletcher Building from the 9th to the 17th September from 11am – 4pm each day. The Graduate Show 2017…

Lobelia tupa

Lobelia tupa

Walking past the woodland garden you cannot help but notice the planting of Lobelia tupa. Strong, sturdy plants in excess of two metres tall. These evergreen herbaceous plants…

How the Grass of Parnassus got its name: a botanical ‘Just So’ story

I was asked this question on a recent trip to North Ronaldsay and had to plead ignorance. We had been discussing a floral display on the local golf…

What soothes you?

We are excited to have created an exhibition with the Project Soothe team at the University of Edinburgh Department of Clinical Psychology  in the Real Life Science Studio…

August 2017 Garden Wildlife Report

August 2017 was another mixed month in Edinburgh weather-wise, with plenty of rain but also some warm sun. Daytime temperatures were mostly slightly warmer than average, but night-time…

Thought for Food: Personal stories

People are, by their nature, storytellers. As food is a rich topic for conversation it makes sense to try to gather people’s thoughts about food through the medium…

Rhododendron fletcherianum

Out of season flowering in Rhododendron

There are several Rhododendron species and cultivars flowering out of season this autumn. At this time of year the buds should be initiating for the spring 2018 flowering….

Cast seeds

A sculptural take on our Herbarium collection

In May 2017 the Scottish sculptor Bobby Niven visited the Herbarium here at RBGE for a tour of the collection. He was on a fact finding mission as…

Laura Aldridge, Plant Scenery of the World, Inverleith House

Plant Scenery of the World

Plant Scenery of the World brings together new and commissioned works by contemporary artists alongside archival material and contemporary botanical drawings from the collection of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Paris quadrifolia

A good crop of berries

A compact herbaceous woodland native, Paris quadrifolia, has fruited well this season. The flower stalks appear above the deeply veined leaves. There are still remnants of the green…

Stanhopea ruckeri – back from the dead

I’ve recently been working alongside Clare and Bruce, the horticulturalists who maintain the Botanics Orchid collection, to stock-take, curate and verify the collection. As part of that process…

Mega!

Some of the visitors to the Botanic Cottage may be aware that on the roof of the east wing there are solar photovoltaic panels installed. Through the generation…

Harvesting Collections for Social Benefit: Hidden Stories at the Herbarium of RBGE

Background to the project. The advent of the era of Big Data has highlighted a truism in scientific discovery: an inference is only as good as the data…

Sambucus racemosa ssp. racemosa

Panicles the size of dinner plates

Sambucus racemosa ssp. racemosa has a wide distribution; Europe, Asia Minor, Siberia, W. Asia, N. America. This red berried Elder is bearing magnificent panicles of white flowers, many…

Another botanical William Jack

One of the most talented Scottish surgeon-botanists ever to have worked in Asia was the Aberdonian William Jack (1795–1822), who, before succumbing to fever aged only 27, acted…

July 2017 Garden Wildlife Report

July 2017 was another wet month, with >74 mm of rain, more than half of which fell in the final week. However, it was also a sunny month,…

Happy Birthday India: or, the changing names of a Himalayan sumach

How to choose a tree suitable for a High Commissioner of India to plant to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Independence while on a visit to RBGE? Trees,…