Author: Max ColemanPage 1 of 7

A small plant with a big genome

The small adder’s-tongue fern has a single leaf not much bigger than your little fingernail. Apart from this easily overlooked leaf, the only other visible part of the…

From a single tree to a BioBlitz

On the 17 and 18 June 2022 naturalists and the public came together at Little Sparta, a garden in the Pentland Hills 25 miles southwest of Edinburgh, to…

Biodiversity at Little Sparta

The artist Ian Hamilton Finlay created a garden in the hills near Biggar that he called Little Sparta in response to the characterization of Edinburgh as the Athens…

Giants, genomes and true grit

We assign human qualities to animals without a second thought. The wise owl and the cunning fox will produce a smile, even though we know this is just…

Backing nature for climate at COP26

This month the world looks to Glasgow for signs of progress with tackling the climate emergency. Although the negotiations must focus on the transition to a low-carbon economy…

Blazing the apple trail

The Garden’s 2021 Harvest Festival includes a short self-guided trail on the origins and future of the apple linked to work on the Darwin Tree of Life project….

Eat your sea greens

Seaweed has been a traditional foraged food in coastal Scottish communities for as long as people have inhabited the coast. Despite being nutritious and abundant it became associated…

Connecting with plants

Greg Kenicer and Marjorie Lotfi Gill in conversation for Book Week Scotland To mark Book Week Scotland 2020, botanist and author Greg Kenicer from the Garden’s Education team…

#plantrainbow – true blue

Remembering the colours of the rainbow in the correct sequence is a memory challenged easily solved with this little rhyme ‘Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain’, giving…

#plantrainbow – Primrose

The primrose, Primula vulgaris, is one of the most evocative and widely-known heralds of spring. If you are lucky enough to know a wild place where this beautiful…

Spread hope and joy with #plantrainbow

The rainbow symbol is used to represent peace, hope, joy, inclusion and diversity. During the current public health crisis, created by the Covid-19 virus, it has also come…

A botanical wild cat

The Scottish native wild apple (Malus sylvestris), like the Scottish wild cat, could be regarded as being under threat from interbreeding with its domesticated counterpart. In the cat’s…

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…

From Indonesia to Edinburgh – An orchids story

In a cloud forest on the Indonesian island of Seram an orchid was collected during an expedition led by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in 1986. The living…

Edinburgh potato faces late blight

A new twist in the story of the Edinburgh potato (Solanum xedinense) could be the most interesting yet. Late blight (Phytophthora infestans) symptoms were found on many of…

Origin of the Edinburgh potato

The Edinburgh potato is a small piece of the Garden’s historical association with food crops and food security dating back to the time of our Regius Keeper Sir…

Edinburgh’s potato: flowers at last

Having waited a full year to see the fruits of our labours in a potato breeding project we have finally been rewarded with success today. Our aim was…

Scent of seduction

With the flowering of our titan arum for the third time this summer minds have been turning to how we can help our plant, fondly called New Reekie,…

Orchid appears in Living Lawn

Next to the Front Range and within sight of the Library and Herbarium two small squares of lawn have been transformed into flower-rich ‘living lawns’ as part of…

Microsculpture on your door step

Guest blog by Ashleigh Whiffin, entomologist (NMS) The breath-taking Microsculpture exhibition of insect portraits opens at RBGE later this month and it’s no secret that I’m a little…