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#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

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#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

#AdventBotany Day 16: Cardamom: The Queen of Spices By Maria Christodoulou & Kalman Konyves

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By Maria Christodoulou & Kalman Konyves With Christmas approaching quickly, many of you are braving the cold and crowds to complete your Christmas shopping. If you do have time for a break you may enjoy one of the most popular lattes on the high street, a Chai latte. Before we go off at a tangent…

via #AdventBotany Day 16: Cardamom: The Queen of Spices — Culham Research Group

#AdventBotany Day 15: A holiday pineapple for the table by Katherine Preston and Jeanne Osnas (The Botanist in the Kitchen)

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By Katherine Preston and Jeanne Osnas (The Botanist in the Kitchen) This deep dive into pineapple anatomy is our contribution this year to the very fun Advent Botany essay collection, a celebration of plants that are at least somewhat tangentially connected to the winter holidays. In previous years we’ve contributed essays on figs, peppermint, and…

via #AdventBotany Day 15: A holiday pineapple for the table — Culham Research Group

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A holiday pineapple for the table

#AdventBotany Day 14: Trading nutmeg and swapping islands By Helen Miller

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By Helen Miller Nutmeg in fruit (Photo Nandhu Kumar) On 23rd December 1616 Nathaniel Courthope came into view of Pulo Run, an island situated in the Moluccas (Indonesia), which have been known as the Spice Islands of the East Indies, and is the region from which nutmeg originates. Courthope was the Captain of a trade…

via #AdventBotany Day 14: Trading nutmeg and swapping islands — Culham Research Group