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#AdventBotany 2018, Day 20: Once upon a time: A tale of fairies from the RHS herbarium — Culham Research Group

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By Yvette Harvey I am still pondering why a pagan spirit of the dead, or, more recently a demoted angel, should play such a big part in Christmas – for Christmas certainly wouldn’t be the same without a fairy at the top of the tree or strings of fairy lights illuminating more than you thought…

via #AdventBotany 2018, Day 20: Once upon a time: A tale of fairies from the RHS herbarium — Culham Research Group

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#AdventBotany 2018, Day 19: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; a spot of medieval Advent Botany — Culham Research Group

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By Alex Mills So, it’s Christmas time. You’re having a bit of food with your friends and family. Well, a lot of food. It’s Christmas, isn’t it? It’s all very convivial and jolly and all that. Suddenly, there’s a commotion at the door. A big chap has come in. He’s on a horse. He’s a…

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#AdventBotany 2018, Day 18: Advent VLOG — Culham Research Group

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By Dawn Bazely Dawn is one of our long-standing contributors and has contributed: poinsettias, cranberries, red-osier dogwood, amaryllis, white cedar, balsam fir, paperwhites, ivy, candy cane chrysanthemums, and less traditional plant species associated with the British festive season, such as arctic cotton grass and willow, and gourds. This year, to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of…

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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…

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