Specimen of the Day

#AdventBotany Day 23: Rosemary, love and controversy – By Alastair Culham

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By Alastair Culham Rosemary makes a tasty addition to many savoury dishes. My favourite is a rub of salt and crushed fresh rosemary leaves put on potatoes before roasting but it’s also lovely with lamb and even with citrus based desserts. Rosemary was probably introduced to the U.K. in Roman times and it is reported…

via #AdventBotany Day 23: Rosemary, love and controversy — Culham Research Group

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#AdventBotany Day 22: Put a cork in it. By Ali Ayres

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By Ali Ayres Wine corks. Composite (upper), cut (lower) (Photo A. Culham) It’s decided, 2017 is the year I finally contribute to this fine festive botanical blogging tradition. But what should I write about? Holly? Ivy? All the usual suspects have already been covered –and excellently to boot. Maybe a glass of wine would help…

via #AdventBotany Day 22: Put a cork in it — Culham Research Group

#AdventBotany Day 21: The qulliq brings light and heat to Canada’s Inuit Nunangat in the dark winter — By Dawn Bazely

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By Dawn Bazely Christmas day at the North Pole is dark. In Inuit Nunangat, the Inuit homelands of Canada, the Arctic Circle (66.6 degrees), marks the latitude where the noon sun is just visible on December 21st, the northern winter solstice. The sun rises above the horizon for about 2 hours. On Christmas day in…

via #AdventBotany Day 21: The qulliq brings light and heat to Canada’s Inuit Nunangat in the dark winter — Culham Research Group

#AdventBotany Day 20: Holly By Patricia Francis

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By Patricia Francis Christmas gift tags from Gallery Oldham collection. The Winter Solstice has been celebrated in many cultures for thousands of years. In our northern latitudes evergreens show how life continues even in the depths of winter. In pre-Christian times evergreen boughs were hung in winter to encourage the return of the sun gods.…

via #AdventBotany Day 20: Holly — Culham Research Group

#AdventBotany Day 19: Christmas Kalanchoe – Kalanchoe blossfeldiana — Culham Research Group

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By Will Simpson by Wildfeuer (own work) [GDFL + CC BY 2.5] via wikimedia commonsThe genus Kalanchoe (the preferred pronunciation is kal-un-KOH-ee(1)) belongs to the Crassulaceae family. Like other members of this family, such as Aeonium, Crassula, Echeveria and Sedum, Kalanchoes tend to be succulent evergreen perennials, come from arid environments and make popular houseplants.…

via #AdventBotany Day 19: Christmas Kalanchoe – Kalanchoe blossfeldiana — Culham Research Group

#AdventBotany Day 18: Cyclamen persicum: a Christmas misnomer? By Karen Andrews

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By Karen Andrews Photo by Karen Andrews They say that you should never judge a book by its cover. Walter C. Blasdale’s ‘Cyclamen persicum: Its Natural and Cultivated Forms’ is an unassuming, concise volume that normally sits in the restricted access section of the University of Reading Library. In an age of print or e-books…

via #AdventBotany Day 18: Cyclamen persicum: a Christmas misnomer? — Culham Research Group

#AdventBotany Day 17: A tough nut to crack! — by Alastair Culham

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By Alastair Culham A single tree of the brazil nut Filling your lap with the sharp fragments of nut shells as you work through a bowl of shell-on nuts is one of the pleasures of Christmas. Less fun is later treading on the sharp fragments that have pinged across the room unnoticed. The, sometimes, superhuman…

via #AdventBotany Day 17: A tough nut to crack! — Culham Research Group