Author: Alan ElliottPage 1 of 3

3 newly described Aframomum (Zingiberaceae) species in the Living Collection at Edinburgh

A new monograph of Aframomum by David Harris and Alexandra Wortley , from Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, was published at the beginning of 2018. The monograph includes the description of…

Acer davidii ‘George Forrest’

History of the cultivar This cultivar was described in 1959 by James Keenan, a former member of staff at the Botanics. He described this cultivated form of A….

Henry Noltie’s Botanical Novelties and other adventures

It is the end of an era at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and only right to celebrate Henry Noltie’s retiral (as we’re in Scotland) with some of…

Meet the orchid centenarians

As part doing a stocktake of the tropical and temperate orchids in the Living Collection I was impressed to see accession numbers that indicated we had plants well…

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…

Benjamin Rush of Pennsylvania – Signatory to the Declaration of Independence

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has had its hand in shaping the careers and fortunes of many in our long history.  We’ve trained countless horticulturalists, botanists, taxonomists and…

Raikless (reckless) Primulas

I have to admit Raiklesses is not a common name I’d heard before. I was looking up the Dictionary of the Scots Language, like you do, and there…

Botanical gold: frankincense and myrrh

Frankincense and myrrh have an almost mystical place in our psyche at this time of year and both can be best be descibed, if unflatteringly, as non-timber forest…

Travellers in Ottoman Lands: The Botanical Legacy

The two day symposium on the 13th & 14th of May 2017 at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is organised by the Association for the Study of Travel in…

Lithocarpus elegans – an old tree but new to the Botanics

One aspect of the Sibbald funded verification project I’m involved with at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is the identification of plants that are currently growing in the garden…

Hydrangea sargentiana – Ernest Henry Wilson’s collection

During August of 1907, in western part of Hubei province in China, Ernest Henry Wilson collected a Hydrangea that turned out to be new to science. The plant…

Scrophularia landroveri – botanical whimsy

Botanical names have a tendency to be utilitarian, geographical or commemorative, but very rarely are they whimsical. In 1964 however, Per Wendelbo described a new species of Scrophularia,…

Aloe springatei-neumannii

Currently flowering in the Arid Lands house at the Botanics is the Kenyan endemic Aloe springatei-neumannii. This species was described in 2011 from south-western Kenya by Leonard Newton…

National Plant Collection of Trillium species and natural hybrids

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is home to several Plant Heritage National Plant Collections including Trillium species and natural hybrids. Trillium are found in the woodland garden at…

Primula denticulata – the Kirrie Dumpling

This Primula has been in cultivation since 1836 when it was first introduced into cultivation by Dr. John Forbes Royle from the NW Himalaya. It is a common…

Saxifraga x bhratangensis

Saxifraga x bhratangensis is a naturally occuring hybrid that is found in central Nepal. Despite only being described in 2013 it has been in cultivation here at Royal…

Clematis argentilucida from SW China

Tucked away on a boundary wall near the glasshouses, but not on public display, is one of the oldest living Clematis specimens in our collection. This plant was…

Rhododendron campanulatum ‘Roland Cooper’

Currently flowering profusely but tucked away at the back of a bed near Inverleith House is the large shrub Rhododendron campanulatum ‘Roland Cooper’ This plant was collected as…

The name changes but the plant remains the same…

A recently published nomenclatural paper in the Nordic Journal of Botany looks like a precursor for the tranfer of Pulsatilla (Pasque Flowers) as a genus to a section…

Sutton’s vasculum of grasses and seeds

A conversation in the canteen about a 19th wheat specimen from Nepal led on to Henry Noltie asking if I had seen the amazing box of grasses. The…