Category: HerbariumPage 1 of 3

WeDigBio at the Botanics

There’s a first time for everything and last week the RBGE herbarium digitisation team hosted its first WeDigBio onsite transcription event! Worldwide Engagement for Digitising Biocollections, WeDigBio, is…

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),…

Join the expedition team exploring the Flora of Britain and Ireland for WeDigBio 2020

Join us virtually as we take part in the 2020 edition of the Worldwide Engagement for Digitising Biocollections, WeDigBio.

Workshop invitation: After the crowds disperse: crowdsourced data rediscovered and researched

***Deadline for expressions of interest extended to 30th October 17:00 UTC.*** You put your images in, your data come out – that’s what crowdsourcing’s all about! It sounds…

Join us on the first in a series of virtual expeditions of Britain and Ireland

The collections from Britain and Ireland held within the RBGE Herbarium are estimated to number over 500,000 specimens of cryptogams (algae, fungi, lichens and mosses), ferns, gymnosperms and…

Fungi-inspired fabrics

Anna Stoane is a Multidisciplinary Textiles Designer who recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art. Anna’s graduate collection The Hidden Kingdom was inspired by ten species of fungi…

Two little-known temporary Superintendents of the Calcutta Botanic Garden: George Swinton and James William Grant

In a book chapter on Indian sculpture in the collection of the National Museum of Scotland (NMS), I recently came across the names of two collectors (and indirect…

Using Herbarium Specimens to Understand Patterns of Plant Diversity

The oldest specimens in the herbarium of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh was collected in 1697, a little over 320 years ago. It was collected by Alexander Brown…

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…

Part 2/2: ‘Sensing and Presencing the Imperceptible’, Siân Bowen’s Micro-conference

Alessandra Leruste has been a Volunteer gallery assistant with Inverleith House since 2019. Alessandra has an MA in History of art from the University of Edinburgh and has her own art-writing blog. Here, Alessandra shares her experience from the afternoon of Siân Bowen’s micro-conference at RBGE.

Part 1/2: ‘Sensing and Presencing the Imperceptible’, Siân Bowen’s Micro-conference

Klaudia Jaworska is in her third year at Edinburgh Napier University, studying International Festivals and Events Management and Marketing. As part of her course, she is currently carrying out a work placement in RBGE’s Public Engagement Department. Here, Klaudia shares her experience from the morning of Siân Bowen’s micro-conference at RBGE.

Learning on the job: students make valuable scientific discoveries

“Hey Zoë, we’ve found a Pinguicula!” “I doubt it, they don’t grow in Belize.” “Well, this is definitely a Pinguicula.” With that conversation shouted across a hillside, we…

Hot, steep and spiny – Exploring the forgotten forests of Latin America

Working in the dry forests of the Marañón valley in Peru can be pretty intense. Firstly, as you might expect, it can get exceptionally hot. While clouds might…

Siân Bowen’s Leverhulme Research Fellowship Exhibition: After Hortus Malabaricus: Sensing and Presencing Rare Plants

After Hortus Malabaricus: Sensing and Presencing Rare Plants marks the culmination of my four-year collaboration with the Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). Having held my first solo exhibition in Scotland at Inverleith House at RBGE in 1995, it is wonderful to be able to exhibit here once again. In 2017, I was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to carry out the project. The Leverhulme Trust is known for supporting experimental proposals with an emphasis on outward facing journeys. The journey that the award facilitated has certainly been extraordinary – opening up possibilities to work with botanists, ecologists, historical researchers, cultural geographers, taxonomists and curators. It has allowed encounters with rare plants in darkened herbaria and light-filled South Indian forests and swamps; epistemologies used to ‘reveal’ specimens and sensory differences between plants’ live and preserved states.

The simple thalloid liverwort Aneura – a digitized resource at RBGE

The simple thalloid liverwort Aneura has become a flagship genus for DNA barcoding at RBGE. Only a single widespread species, Aneura pinguis, is traditionally recognized in the UK,…

To half a million specimen images and beyond!

Today we have reached a new landmark with half a million herbarium specimens imaged and freely available online on our herbarium catalogue.

The Divine Bog-moss, Sphagnum divinum, found but now lost in Scotland

A recently described moss, Sphagnum divinum, the Divine Bog-moss, has been discovered in Britain and Ireland, though the only Scottish site yet found has sadly been lost. Its taxonomic discovery has a long history, starting over 250 years ago with a French explorer in southern South America.