Category: SciencePage 1 of 25

Latest science blog posts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Rescuing the Goldilocks of Scottish Wildflowers at RBGE

Here at RBGE as well as researching and growing lots of wonderful and precious plants from around the world we also put lots of work into the conservation…

Epitaph for an Elm

By Henry Noltie A melancholy arboricultural event took place in the Doune Terrace garden on 26 April 2021: the felling of a stately wych elm (Ulmus glabra). The…

Early botanising in Upper Teesdale

by Frank Horsman A number of botanists have been overlooked in the botanical recognition of Upper Teesdale. My aim is to put this right. The unrecognised botanical pioneer…

Hidden Histories: Stories found in the George Forrest archive – The Temple of the Goddess of Mercy

I am fortunate to be able to work with archive material produced by people like plant collector George Forrest (1873-1932), who travelled extensively in Yunnan province, southwest China…

A visit to Leny Glen

A party from RBGE was invited to see the recent restoration work undertaken by Janis Binnie on the plantings in the lower part of Leny Glen, Callander, Perthshire….

A garden visitor and his ‘stolen’ book – 2

In the first of these Botanics Stories we introduced the weaver botanist John Duncan and his friend Charles Black. In this blogpost we give some details about John’s…

A garden visitor and his ‘stolen’ book – 1

The visitor On the 17th of November 1874 an elderly working weaver – ‘compelled in his destitution’ – applied for poor relief in the Aberdeenshire parish of Alford….

L’Erba della Madonna

By Henry Noltie On my daily constitutional to Wardie Bay the ivy-leaved toadflax, Cymbalaria muralis, is currently making a fine display in the lime mortar of the sandstone…

Big trees need big plots

The largest trees in tropical rain forests are poorly know. A paper just published sheds some light on these amazing giants.

Shock! Horror! Alien invader reaches genteel Moray Place

Moray Place is the dodecagonal circus, 325 yards in diameter, which forms the centrepiece of that masterpiece of buildings and gardens designed by James Gillespie (Graham) in the…

Uses for a ‘common’ flower

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara L.) is found throughout Scotland. It is among the early spring flowers. Over the years people have used this ‘common’ plant in a number of ways.

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),…

Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour (1853-1922) – an appreciation

This is an extended version of the talk I gave at the ‘Trailblazers’ online event to mark RBGE’s 350th anniversary on the 15th October 2020. I work in…

Neera Joshi Pradhan

Born in 1967, the daughter of R.N. Joshi (1938-1988), painter and doyen of Nepali art Personal Statement I am an independent self–employed artist and botanical illustrator in Nepal….

Jimmy Ratter Obituary

Jimmy Ratter, botanist. Born: February 15, 1934, in Cambridge.Died: November 3, 2020, in Edinburgh. James Alexander Ratter (“Jimmy” or “Jim”), who has died aged 86, was an internationally…