Category: HerbariumPage 2 of 4

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.

Things in cupboards – Rhododendron arboreum

This unassuming section of trunk was sitting on a desk in the herbarium office after being “discovered” in the back of a carpological cupboard. It arrived in our…

Join us on a virtual expedition to Myanmar!

Come and join us on our first, of a series of specimen-based virtual expeditions across Myanmar on the citizen science platform Digivol.

a botanical glimpse

We were delighted to be approached by graduating MA Art, Space and Nature student from the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), Audrey Yeo. Audrey presented a botanical glimpse…

Herbarium-inspired poetry

This Sunday, 2 June 2019, there is a chance to hear poetry read in the Botanic Cottage, with afternoon tea and nature-inspired poems from award-winning and widely published…

The first steps towards the Flora of Myanmar

In collaboration with New York Botanic Garden, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is producing the first botanical inventory of the highly diverse Northern Forest Complex in the Hkakaborazi-Hponganrazi landscape, Myanmar. This is a first critical step towards producing a Flora of Myanmar.

Herbarium Recuration & Increasing the Resolution of South Asia

Traditionally at RBGE region 5 has included Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. At present this area contains over 400,000 specimens. Creating subdivisions within region 5 make the specimens easier to access for researchers.

Festival Fun with Frankenstein’s Plants

This year for the first time, the herbarium team ran Frankenstein’s Plants, an event for the Edinburgh Science Festival. Participants were able to build their very own unique…

Enlisting the crowd to unlock our specimen data!

The herbarium at RBGE holds around 3 million herbarium specimens. Each specimen consists of pressed plant material and a collection label mounted on archival card. They are used…

Towards a European Research Infrastructure for Scientific Collections

RBGE is a partner in an ambitious initiative to create a Distributed System of Scientific Collections (DiSSCo) as a new European Research Infrastructure. This currently includes 115 organisations…

RBGE publication: Guide to Collecting Herbarium Specimens in the Field

In a time of habitat destruction and species loss it is vitally important to ensure that fundamental botanical work is being carried out to identify, assess and conserve…

RBGE’s Silica-dried Collections

We have been working towards protocols for the management and storage of the RBGE specimens dried in silica gel. The bulk of this material is collected by RBGE…