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Man holding a tiny potato the size of a bean.

Size isn’t everything

The tatties produced by the ‘Edinburgh potato’ were recently revealed to the world on BBC Landward and it’s fair to say this potato is not destined to be…

Bleached, yellow, red – the range of autumn leaf colour

Bleached white through shades of yellow to the darker red; the range of colour deciduous tree canopies evolve into. There is a timely article, discussing the changes leaves…

Waiting for Rhododendron mogeanum

Rhododendron mogeanum has flowered in the Vireya research collection at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for what we think is the first time in cultivation. In 2011 an expedition…

Two late flowering composites

Flower colour this late in the season is always welcome as an alternative and to complement the prominence of the deciduous leaf canopy. The dwarf Michaelmas Daisy cultivar…

Celebrating Apple Season

21st October is Apple Day, an autumn holiday created by the charity Common Ground in 1990 to celebrate and protect the rich variety of apple cultivars across the…

Seedling and dried leaflets

The beautiful bemba forest

In the forests of central Africa there is an amazing species of tree. It is called Gilbertiodendron dewevrei. Fortunately, the people who live there have shorter names for…

Autumnal beauty

In full autumn colour, the foliage of Betula papyrifera has turned a golden yellow. This native to North America is ideally situated near the east gate to catch…

Lindenberg’s Featherwort – liverwort child of the Atlantic

Geography, and particularly climate, have distinguished the extreme western parts of Scotland from the rest of the country for thousands of years. Many of our rarest plant species…

Large Tiger Hoverfly (Helophilus trivittatus)

September 2019 Garden Wildlife Report

September 2019, perhaps predictably, followed the pattern of previous months this summer. Once again it was both sunnier (141.4 hours, 129% of average) and wetter (79.4 mm, 161%…

Priority Glasshouse Works at RBGE

It seems that each year we uncover more serious deterioration of our ageing infrastructure which requires immediate action to ensure the safety of the Living Collection but also…

Too late to hoe

As herbaceous foliage dies back those weeds that were missed when cultivating through the border during the summer months reveal themselves. With mild temperatures any annuals left to…

Autumn Gentiana

Autumn is a time of change, the leaves are starting to turn shades of yellow, orange and red. However, one plant steals the show and is of significant…

Evidence, action, inspiration – how nature-based solutions help combat the climate emergency

This week (7th-13th October 2019) is Scotland’s Climate Week, which this year comes at a decisive time for our planet, its people and its biodiversity. As UN Secretary-General…

Fruit and foliage

The start of the leaf colour season. Stresses show up as early autumn colour. Where plants grow is soils of poor nutrient status or moisture deficit these are…

The final cut

As we dig deeper into autumn thoughts of the last mow of the lawn come to mind. This is the time to raise the height on the mower….

Why I love Volunteering for Microsculpture & Talking About Insect Vision

As a life-long lover of insects, I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer at the Microsulpture exhibition at the Inverleith House Gallery at the Botanics .  I had…

Silk threads but not from a Mulberry

The flowers of Dianthus superbus var. longicalycinus are delicate in composition, resembling silk threads. The plant is a short lived perennial sending flower stalks up to 180mm. These…

August 2019 Garden Wildlife Report

Summer 2019 seems to have been following a pattern, for August 2019, like July, was a month when both sunshine (201.7 hours, 179% of average) and rainfall (140.8…

The scent of Onions

The disadvantage of Tulbaghia violacea is the ever present smell of onions lingering around the planting. This gets worse in wet weather, the force of raindrops bruising the…

July 2019 Garden Wildlife Report

July 2019 has been described as the warmest globally on record. It was also a warm month at the Botanics, due in part to an intense heatwave in…