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Seeds Growing Experiment

Getting started with….Botany

‘Getting started with… Botany’ is an online course that introduces the amazing world of plants. Strictly speaking, it could be described as a beginners’ course, but it’s also…

Blue pollen, a story of kōtukutuku

Fuschia excorticata or Kotukutuku in Māori is a large growing shrub from New Zealand. The specimen is located at the top of the stairs near the monkey puzzles….

Exhibition: Botanical Women

I am a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh and I have been working at RBGE on a three-month internship funded by the Scottish Graduate School for…

A choice species to welcome the Scottish Rhododendron Festival

The Scottish Rhododendron Festival runs from the start of April until the end of May and aims to promote the varied collection of Rhododendrons collected and grown throughout…

Clear out the Cleavers

Observe the thinnest, weak looking stem of this Cleavers seedling Galium aparine. Yet it will have the power to draw water and nutrients from the roots pushing these essential…

Market Garden Course

On 23rd March 2019 we invited 12 community Gardeners to spend the day with Ben Dell at the Botanics Market Garden. This was an opportunity to learn the…

Fresh growth

With the Garden full of spring colour it is good to remember the lesser things that draw the plantings together within the garden. Running through the soil atop…

The Tale of Anne and Beatrix

Research about Victorian botanical illustrator Anne Pratt turns into a Beatrix Potter book binding mystery… Anne Pratt was born in 1806 and, suffering from poor health as a…

The living fossil

The living fossil is a term used to refer to a particular set of very special species. The original term coined by Charles Darwin in The Origin of…

Inspired by Seaweeds from the Herbarium

On Friday 15 March 2019, the RBGE Herbarium and Edinburgh Shoreline Project joined forces for a half-day mixed media workshop inspired by algae specimens in the RBGE Herbarium….

A perennial rhizome

Bergenia x schmidtii a hybrid between B. ciliata (Kashmir, Nepal) and its more northerly cousin B. crassifolia from Siberia and Mongolia. A good plant as ground cover on…

DNA extraction protocol for long read sequencing; DNA extraction for state-of-the-art sequencing

Kanae Nishii, Michael Möller, Michelle Hart Introduction Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) (or Second Generation Sequencing) and the plethora of associated applications has revolutionised biodiversity research. The dream of…

Salix lanata and Woolly Originals

We have been collaborating with Sarah Clarkson from Woolly Originals https://woollyoriginals.com/  who will be appearing at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival at the Corn Exchange from 21st to  23rd…

February 2019 Garden Wildlife Report

February 2019 was the second successive dry, sunny month at RBGE. Rainfall was only 18.4 mm, slightly more than January’s record low of 12.2 mm but only 39%…

Pearls on the mulch

The closed, rounded petals of Pieris japonica ‘Snowdrift’ are strewn beneath the plant growing in the F beds. Freshly mulched the contrast between the organic layer and these…

Worsleya procera

Worsleya is a Brazilian plant in the Amaryllidaceae family, cultivated as an ornamental because of its showy flowers. There is only one known species, Worsleya procera syn. Worsleya…

Look out for lanigerum

The plants of Rhododendron lanigerum originally collected by Kingdon Ward during his travels in south western China are starting to flower. Just as attractive when in tight bud…

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…