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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…

The Edinburgh Seven: ‘a true battle for liberty against tyranny’

Round the corner from the Botanical Women exhibition in the John Hope Gateway is a case featuring the story of the Edinburgh Seven. The Edinburgh Seven – Sophia…

Joint digitisation project

We have recently completed a joint project with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Natural History Museum London (NHM), to digitise important genera in the pea and…

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…