A moving botanic garden story

by Luigi Guarino on January 31, 2017

My new post over at work looks at some of the differences, and similarities, between the worlds of botanical gardens and genebanks.

The photo of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh which accompanies a tweet about the piece, though, is a bit out of date:

It turns out that the hedge archway now leads to the Botanic Cottage, which had to be moved there stone by stone from the previous location of the garden in order to save it.

It now even has a Twitter account.

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Dave Wood February 1, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Luigi: Your `work post’ mentions the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. I was lucky enough to be on the staff, in the herbarium, for a couple of years around 1970 – great place. A key bit of work they did – very useful for `origin of crops’ – was the `Flora of Turkey and the eastern Aegean Islands’ – a superb Flora with quality accounts of wild relatives, I think 10 volumes in all. It started my conversion to a `monoculturalist’, for example: Secale montanum, the ancestral species for rye: “… normally inhabits dry, stony, or rocky hillsides, but in Turkey it also occurs as massive stands on non-arable steppe, on limestone, volcanic slopes, serpentine, in oak forests.” Vol 9, pp. 256-257. If crop relatives can grow in massive stands then what is wrong with monoculture wheat rye, barley and oats, wild ancestors of all of which are recorded in Floras as growing in what are effectively fields?

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