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Towards 3 million specimens: Digitising Scrophulariaceae

The following blog was written by Becky Camfield a digitiser in the Herbarium. Since 2021 we have increased our digitisation capacity with the goal of getting to 1…

Day 4: Four calling birds- Scapania ornithopoides, the Birds-foot Earwort

Scapania ornithopoides, the ‘Birds-foot Earwort’ was collected for the Darwin Tree of Life project by Dr David Bell and Dr David Long at the Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve on the 22nd August 2021.

Day 3: Three French hens – Orchis mascula, Hen’s kames

Orchis mascula was collected for the Darwin Tree of Life project by Dr Markus Ruhsam on the 23rd May 2023, near Lochan na Lairige on Ben Lawers. One of the Scots names for this plant is Hen’s kames

Day 2: Two turtle doves – Geranium molle, the Dove’s foot cranebill

Geranium molle, the Dove’s foot cranebill, was collected for the Darwin Tree of Life project on the 9th of May 2022 by Dr Markus Ruhsam, on the verge of a road that passes over a golf course.

Day 1: A partridge in a pear tree – Pyrus communis, the pear tree

A specimen of Pyrus communis, the pear tree, was collected for the DToL project by Dr Markus Ruhsam at the Hermitage of Braid in Edinburgh on the 31st May 2022.

The Twelve Days of DToL

We have already seen the release of the thousandth Darwin Tree of Life genome, the Purple Bar moth, Cosmorhoe ocellata. To celebrate this festive season, we have considered what we have given, or might like to receive, for our own twelve days of Christmas…

Reviving Benmore’s giants

Reviving a stressed 50m tree feels daunting but having 49 ailing giant redwoods to revive has been one of the biggest challenges. Peter baxter, curator, benmore botanic garden…

Postcards from the Biomes: The Last Fern to Leave

A new Postcards from the Biomes following the move of the last fern to leave the Ferns and Fossils Glasshouse at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Flowers for William, Elizabeth and Margaret McNab

In May 1810 the McNab family took up residence in Botanics Cottage, then on its original site on Leith Walk. The family consisted of William, his wife Elizabeth,…

Rainforest elm

Awareness that Britain is a rainforest nation is finally growing. Environmental organisations are doing their best to get Britain’s rainforests the recognition they deserve. But one man, Guy…

Towards 3 million specimens: It’s a steal for Magnolias!

The following post was written by Chris Knowles, a digitiser working in the RBGE Herbarium. As part of my first year at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh as…

Resilient plant communities

Diversity is the basis of resilience. But we tend to focus on the number of species or habitats and not the diversity within a single species. This is…

The Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden

The Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden celebrates the garden’s historical connections with the Royal Family, which date back to RBGE’s origins in 1670 as a Physic Garden at the…

Towards 3 million specimens: Prunus spinosa – The Blackthorn Tree of British and Irish Folklore 

The following blog post was written by Courtney Kemnitz, a Digitiser in the RBGE Herbarium. Courtney is digitising the British Isles collection. This series of blog posts will…

Apple recovery bears fruit

The apple is a symbol of fertility in Norse and Germanic pagan tradition. So, there is some irony in the fact that work by the Scottish Plant Recovery…

Wallace’s Iridescent Ferns at RBGE

I recently joined the research staff of the RBGE as a fern taxonomist focusing on the diversity of tropical southeast Asia. RBGE is perfect for me. Its herbarium…

Plants moving on

I imagine that releasing a red kite or a golden eagle as part of a species reintroduction programme is a pretty emotional moment. That animal, raised in captivity,…

Plants on the move

Plant blindness – the inability to see or notice the plants in one’s own environment. Elisabeth schussler & James wandersee, 1998 Surprisingly, for me at least, some people…

Pressing conservation issue

It’s the season of mellow fruitfulness and the Scottish Plant Recovery project team has been busy squashing the bright orange/red berries of the Arran whitebeams (Hedlundia species) to…

Students of 1809 and 1859

This Black History Month, we explore our links with Dr William Fergusson (1796 – 1846) and Surgeon-Major James ‘Africanus’ Beale Horton (1835 – 1883).