Category: SciencePage 1 of 25

Latest science blog posts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Choose your transcription path through people and plants

The RBGE Herbarium and citizen research Since 2017 the RBGE Herbarium has enlisted the help of volunteers to undertake the transcription of collection label information from herbarium specimens….

Ross Eudall (1924-2021)

Ross Eudall was born in London on the 29th December 1924, an only child. Ross’s father was a butler, which led to Ross spending time in Kilmarnock, Inverness…

Apple Hunting in Scotland

Scotland’s native wild apple tree (Malus sylvestris) is an attractive, solitary and often unassuming tree with a big history. It is a key player in the domestication of the apple, with Malus domestica, and all its many cultivars, boasting M.sylvestris as one of its progenitors.

COP26 – What Now?

It was a heady fortnight of frantic networking and tough negotiating in the Glasgow rain. But did the twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations…

RBGE World War Two Service Roll

1939-1945 The Service Roll is different from the Roll of Honour in that it shows the names & a short statement of service of all members of staff of the…

Backing nature for climate at COP26

This month the world looks to Glasgow for signs of progress with tackling the climate emergency. Although the negotiations must focus on the transition to a low-carbon economy…

Frieda Christie – 28 Years at RBGE

After nearly 28 years at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), Frieda Christie, our Microscopy Lab manager, will be retiring at the end of September. To celebrate Frieda’s…

Blazing the apple trail

The Garden’s 2021 Harvest Festival includes a short self-guided trail on the origins and future of the apple linked to work on the Darwin Tree of Life project….

Rescuing the Goldilocks of Scottish Wildflowers at RBGE

Here at RBGE as well as researching and growing lots of wonderful and precious plants from around the world we also put lots of work into the conservation…

Epitaph for an Elm

By Henry Noltie A melancholy arboricultural event took place in the Doune Terrace garden on 26 April 2021: the felling of a stately wych elm (Ulmus glabra). The…

Early botanising in Upper Teesdale

by Frank Horsman A number of botanists have been overlooked in the botanical recognition of Upper Teesdale. My aim is to put this right. The unrecognised botanical pioneer…

Hidden Histories: Stories found in the George Forrest archive – The Temple of the Goddess of Mercy

I am fortunate to be able to work with archive material produced by people like plant collector George Forrest (1873-1932), who travelled extensively in Yunnan province, southwest China…

A visit to Leny Glen

A party from RBGE was invited to see the recent restoration work undertaken by Janis Binnie on the plantings in the lower part of Leny Glen, Callander, Perthshire….

A garden visitor and his ‘stolen’ book – 2

In the first of these Botanics Stories we introduced the weaver botanist John Duncan and his friend Charles Black. In this blogpost we give some details about John’s…

A garden visitor and his ‘stolen’ book – 1

The visitor On the 17th of November 1874 an elderly working weaver – ‘compelled in his destitution’ – applied for poor relief in the Aberdeenshire parish of Alford….

L’Erba della Madonna

By Henry Noltie On my daily constitutional to Wardie Bay the ivy-leaved toadflax, Cymbalaria muralis, is currently making a fine display in the lime mortar of the sandstone…

Big trees need big plots

The largest trees in tropical rain forests are poorly know. A paper just published sheds some light on these amazing giants.

Shock! Horror! Alien invader reaches genteel Moray Place

Moray Place is the dodecagonal circus, 325 yards in diameter, which forms the centrepiece of that masterpiece of buildings and gardens designed by James Gillespie (Graham) in the…

Uses for a ‘common’ flower

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara L.) is found throughout Scotland. It is among the early spring flowers. Over the years people have used this ‘common’ plant in a number of ways.

The giant butterbur, Petasites japonicus

By Henry Noltie Rituals to mark the unrolling of the seasons have always seemed important, but never more so than as reference points by which to punctuate the…