Author: Mark WatsonPage 1 of 2

The giant butterbur, Petasites japonicus

By Henry Noltie Rituals to mark the unrolling of the seasons have always seemed important, but never more so than as reference points by which to punctuate the…

Erophila verna on a black ground: a miniature painting in the Lightfoot Herbarium at Kew

By Henry Noltie In April 2017 I visited a memorable exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art at New Haven, CT. It was  entitled ‘Enlightened Princesses’ and…

The Collectors of the Wallich (or East India Company) Herbarium. Part IV

By Henry Noltie & Mark Watson (continued from Part III) Military Men, Society Ladies and the French The Army Officers The violence inflicted upon India by the EIC…

The Collectors of the Wallich (or East India Company) Herbarium. Part III

By Henry Noltie & Mark Watson (continued from Part II) Horticulturists and Civil Servants The designation ‘professional’, which, during the twentieth century, increasingly came to be used in…

The Collectors of the Wallich (or East India Company) Herbarium. Part II

By Henry Noltie & Mark Watson (continued from Part I) The Surgeons (and a Vet) Perhaps unsurprisingly the second largest number of specimens in the Herbarium came from…

The Collectors of the Wallich (or East India Company) Herbarium

By Henry Noltie & Mark Watson Nathaniel Wallich was one of the most significant superintendents of the Calcutta Botanic Garden (now the AJC Bose Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah),…

Lady Gwillim’s ‘Madras’ Magnolia

Henry J. Noltie In 1805 the German botanical missionary the Rev Dr Johann Peter Rottler (1749–1836) intended to name a monospecific genus for Elizabeth, Lady Gwillim (1763–1807), wife…

The (Western) discoverer of the rouloul bird: Dr James Badenach of Whiteriggs (1744–1797)

H.J. Noltie Introduction While researching the life of John Hope a decade ago I went through the RBGE copies of his personal papers that have fortunately survived in…

A Calcutta botanical drawing of Hamiltonia suaveolens with an interesting provenance

Henry Noltie Some years ago, as part of the barter economy, I acquired a handsome, but all but empty, early nineteenth-century album, its calf spine lettered in gilt…

First records of British plants – three Indian connections

Henry Noltie In pursuit of interesting facts for some captions I was recently asked to write I turned to David Pearman’s fascinating account of the first records of…

Wallich’s Expeditions

Having recently been asked for a summary of Nathaniel Wallich’s plant collecting expeditions by an Indian researcher, I have compiled the following chronology. Plant material collected by Wallich…

Trinity College Dublin and the Wallichian distribution of the East India Company’s Herbarium

The official establishment of the Herbarium at Trinity College Dublin is taken as 1840, with the appointment of Thomas Coulter (1793–1843) as the first Keeper and the incorporation…

Nepalese Ambassador visits the Botanics

His Excellency Dr Durga Bahadur Subedi, Nepalese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, led a delegation from the Embassy in London to Scotland this weekend, visiting Edinburgh, Aberdeen and…

Artists in Nepal: a Modern Thangka

The idea of making a contemporary version of a Thangka painting came when we were visiting Swayambhunath, the Monkey Temple, in Kathmandu. We came across a beautiful old…

Botanical Double celebrates the Britain-Nepal Bicentenary

RBGE staff recently returned from Kathmandu where they had met with colleagues from the Government of Nepal’s Department of Plant Resources in celebration of the historic 200-year relationship…

Flora of Nepal: a 200-year connection

A celebratory exhibition of contemporary and historic plant portraits As Britain and Nepal mark 200 years of diplomatic relations, RBGE is celebrating its own unique relationship with Nepal….

Meeting the Prime Minister of Nepal

Whilst visiting Nepal in late June, Mark Watson met the Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister of Nepal, Khadga Prasad Oli, at his Residence in Baluwatar, Kathmandu. Mark was joined…

Online Resources for Taxonomic Research

Names and Nomenclature When tracking down published scientific names, and their places of publication, IPNI, The Plant List and Tropicos are the three primary websites. The other listed…

The Anderson Brothers of Calcutta

While looking for monuments to people with Indian connections in the Dean Cemetery recently, I was intrigued to see the letters ‘FLS’ emerging from the fringes of an…

Plant drawings launch a celebration of 200 years of Nepal-UK relations

The celebration of 200 years of Nepal-UK relations was launched on 6th January 2014 with an exhibition of natural history drawings made by Dr Francis Buchanan-Hamilton in 1802-3….