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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…

Enlisting the crowd to unlock our specimen data!

The herbarium at RBGE holds around 3 million herbarium specimens. Each specimen consists of pressed plant material and a collection label mounted on archival card. They are used…

Towards a European Research Infrastructure for Scientific Collections

RBGE is a partner in an ambitious initiative to create a Distributed System of Scientific Collections (DiSSCo) as a new European Research Infrastructure. This currently includes 115 organisations…

RBGE publication: Guide to Collecting Herbarium Specimens in the Field

In a time of habitat destruction and species loss it is vitally important to ensure that fundamental botanical work is being carried out to identify, assess and conserve…

Connect with Nature and Health

This year’s Connect With Nature Festival at RBGE is all about how people’s lives have become better after they used art to help them connect with the natural…

RBGE’s Silica-dried Collections

We have been working towards protocols for the management and storage of the RBGE specimens dried in silica gel. The bulk of this material is collected by RBGE…

Lilac season

Now that the Cherry blossom fades the Lilacs are providing continuity of colour Syringa x persica (a hybrid between S. afghanica x laciniatata.) The “Persian Lilac” is an…

Taking digitisation to the next level for the Flora of Nepal

The Himalayan region is recognised as one of the ‘hottest’ global Biodiversity hotspots, with a third of all plant species within its range occurring in Nepal. This makes…

March 2019 Garden Wildlife Report

March 2019 continued the trend of above-average temperatures although it was a much more mixed month than February, with some sharp cold snaps and no exceptionally mild spells….

Integration of Glomeromycota slides in to the RBGE collection

The RBGE was donated a large and important collection of specimens of Glomeromycota (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi) by Dr. Chris Walker. The collection mainly consists of nearly 16,000 scientifically…

Motile stamens

If there was ever a plant to deter all comers this is it. The leaves of Berberis darwinii are clothed in lethal spines. Anyone who has cultivated around…