Category: Other NewsPage 2 of 40

The hidden distinctiveness of a threatened British moss

When conservation scientists are trying to decide which species are most in need of protection, the main consideration is usually how likely they are to become extinct, as…

The Chocolate Tree

This unusual plant (Azara microphylla) sounds better placed in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory but I assure you it is real. The specimen can be found to the right…

Galanthophile or Galanthobore

The way that one plant or a group of plants can completely consume a person into a collecting compulsion has always intrigued me but also bewilders me. Few…

January 2019 Garden Wildlife Report

January 2019 was the driest January at RBGE since 1976. Only 12.2 mm of rain fell, 18% of the long-term average. It was also much sunnier than average,…

Blowing in the wind

A covering of seed has appeared on the freshly spread mulch covering the herbaceous border. Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’ is shedding seed from the silver plumes it holds through…

Iris foetidissima

Foetid

A self-sown clump of Iris foetidissima is bursting with clusters of orange berries in the lower area of the Chinese hillside. These capsules are retained through the winter….

In memory of Captain Robert Chapman Davie (1886-1919)

“Indirectly the war has robbed the Botanical Society of a member of its Council and a frequent contributor to its meetings in the person of Dr. R.C. Davie,…

Anticipating the new potato season

On a cold and frosty January day one can’t help thinking about the new vegetable growing season that is yet to unfold. In fact, preparations for the new…

BigPicnic at Parliament

The BigPicnic project, funded by an EU Horizon 2020 grant, has involved 16 botanic gardens working with people to explore the issue of food insecurity with the aim…

December 2018 Garden Wildlife Report

December 2018 at RBGE was much drier than usual, slightly sunnier, and milder than average although there were some short cold snaps with frost but no snow. Total…

Wallich’s Expeditions

Having recently been asked for a summary of Nathaniel Wallich’s plant collecting expeditions by an Indian researcher, I have compiled the following chronology. Plant material collected by Wallich…

Blue sausage

The deciduous stalks of Decaisnea insignis are prominent in the upper woodland garden. Hanging from these bare stalks are the fruit; blue sausage shaped receptacles that contain a…

Hanging by a thread

Jasminum nudiflorum; bright yellow flowers on chlorophyll green stems. This one, a stem layer that caught itself under the fence post and rooted into the mortar joint. The…

Review of the Year – 2018

Following on from a Met Office decreed White Christmas in 2017, Edinburgh had a day of snow and then Storm Dylan blew through on the 31st. Fortuitously, the…

Christmas Island and other ventures – legacy of RBGE gardener David Reid Tait

When I was contacted by Dr Bill Lynch in August 2018 with a query about a former RBGE gardener called David R. Tait and his work for Sir…

Fern Book Presents from Christmas Past – 2

In December 1945 the world was entering its fourth month of‘peace’ after six brutal years of global war. A small sign of that ‘peace’ was the arrival in…

November 2018 Garden Wildlife Report

November 2018 was a rather ‘grey’ month, living up to that month’s reputation. There were only around half a dozen really sunny days, mainly in the first half,…

Two hopeful Hellebores

Agenus of herbs, these two differ in that Helleborusorientalis has no winter foliage and H.foetidus has. H. foetidus isnative to W and S Europe with H.orientalis having a…

Reasons to be cheerful

Seeing these two images of Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ side by side illustrates the change weather can play on plants. Walking around the garden on a wet morning the…

Francis Buchanan’s Bengal Survey botanical drawings and specimens reunited after 203 years

Since September I have been working, on and off, on the fantastic collection of Indian botanical drawings at our sister organisation, Kew. This started out when asked to…