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#AdventBotany 2018 Day 17: The Chestnut Song — Culham Research Group

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By Katherine Preston Today’s blog is the second by a Botanist in the Kitchen, this time Katherine. It is a revisit of the sweet chestnut, last featured in 2015 when we heard about the devastating chestnut blight. In today’s blog we hear tell of the rather grown up flavour of the chestnut and a need…

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#AdventBotany 2018, Day 16: The snowiest of white — Culham Research Group

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By Tomos Jones Dreaming of a white Christmas? Well, the plant for today’s blog is Symphoricarpos albus, the Snowberry. It’s a member of the Caprifoliaceae or Honeysuckle family, native to North America. It was originally described in Linnaeus’ Species Plantarum in 1753 as Vaccinium album L. (Ericaceae). Since 1914 it has been referred to as…

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#AdventBotany 2018, Day 15: Angelica: Holiday fruitcake from a sometimes toxic family — Culham Research Group

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By Jeanne D. Osnas Candied Angelica That tendency for a deliciously aromatic and edible plant species to be closely related to an insanely toxic thing is a recursive tendency for the entire charismatic plant family to which angelica owes its existence: the Apiaceae. With 3780 species in 434 genera (according to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s…

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#AdventBotany 2018, Day 14: Toyon Story — Culham Research Group

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By Andrew Doran1 and Dean Kelch2 1Curator of Cultivated Plants, University & Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley2Primary Botanist, California Department of Agriculture, Sacramento Native distribution of Heteromeles arbutifolia Can you grow holly in the balmy state of California? Yes, you can. Although common holly, Ilex aquifolium, comes from areas with higher rainfall than most…

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#AdventBotany 2018, Day 13: Three cheers for Christmas beers — Culham Research Group

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By Sophie Leguil Ask a panel of British people what they consider to be traditional Christmas drinks, and you will probably hear “gin”, “brandy”, “rum” or “Baileys”. Repeat the experience in Belgium, and you might get very different responses… Every year around mid-November, shop aisles in Belgium start filling with a special range of beers,…

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AdventBotany 2018, Day 12: the story of Amaryllis — Culham Research Group

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By Eirini Antonaki Today’s advent botany blog will focus on a popular seasonal ornamental, Amaryllis, with its vibrant colouration ranging from pink, to purple and occasionally red. Etymologically, the name Amaryllis (Αμαρυλλίς) is derived from ancient Greek verb ἀμαρύσσω which broadly translates as “I sparkle”. As we have seen in several past blogs, there are…

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#AdventBotany 2018, Day 11: What’s bacon doing in Advent Botany? — Culham Research Group

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By Claire Smith The almond (Prunus dulcis) has been grown in Britain since the 16th century, and almond paste quickly became a popular medium for making moulded desserts or sweetmeats. In the 17th century there seems to have been a bit of a trend for turning it into bacon! So how do you go about…

via #AdventBotany 2018, Day 11: What’s bacon doing in Advent Botany? — Culham Research Group