The seeds of Dead Man’s Finger

Seeds are phenomenal structures which have adapted incredible ways to disperse. One of the of the most eye catching seed pods in the garden at this time of…

….and hedge bases

Winter months are a good time to catch up with hedge cutting. Always start at the base, a clean line with the first pass of the hedge trimmer…

84 Year old Cherry felled in last nights winds at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Last night (5/12/19) the forecast high winds caused us to cancel our Christmas light show. The highest gust recorded in the garden was 43mph. This was enough to…

My first taxonomic revision – experiences from the Edinburgh herbarium – by Julia Wellsow

Desplatsia is a genus of small trees growing in the forests of West and Central Africa. Their fruits are rather large and adored by elephants. There was some…

How many people does it take to revise a genus?

In 1994 I was in a forest in the Central African Republic standing in front of a tree. I remember the moment well. I turned to my companion,…

Hedge tops

December arrives and leaf fall should be complete. Now is the time to clear the decaying remains from the lawns and corners of the garden. An area often…

Bird food

With the last of the dark green foliage just hanging onto the stem the twiggy outline of Euonymus europaeus is enhanced by the cluster of red seed capsules…

#NationalTreeWeek @TheBotanics 2019 What are we planting this year?

National Tree Week marks the traditional start of the winter tree planting season. We are celebrating from the 23rd November to the 1st December. “National Tree Week is…

Silver sensation

A plant of 1960’s suburbia. With the housing boom in the 1960’s the Pampas grass became a popular feature of British gardens. The images are of a cultivar…

October 2019 Garden Wildlife Report

Yet again, October 2019 was both sunnier (117.4 hours, 117% of average) and wetter (106.2 mm, 134% of average) than an average Edinburgh October.  Like September, most of…

Himalayan herbage

Miscanthus nepalensis has grown well from seed collected in 2016 from plants growing in Nepalese coniferous forest.  A group on the corner of the Front Range glasshouse has…

Ageing radiance

Hosta is a genus of herbaceous plants that once frost occurs in the autumn rapidly lose their colour and structure. The first image, taken mid-October shows leaves past…

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…