Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Plant of the month December 2017

Carica papaya (Pawpaw, papaya)
Family: Caricaceae
Origin: Tropical America
Accession: 2012
Location: Tropical House

The papaya is a small tree, usually with a single stem, growing from 5 to 10m tall with spirally arranged large, palmately-lobed leaves at the top of the trunk. The lower trunk is conspicuously scarred from former leaves and fruit. Originally from Central America, it is now cultivated in most tropical countries, where it grows rapidly, fruiting within three years. All parts of the plant contain latex, and the enzyme Papain, extracted from green fruit, is used as a meat tenderizer, chewing gum additive and beer clarifier.

Thanks to Maggie Gowland for photographs.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Plant of the month November 2017

Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood)
Family: Cupressaceae
Origin: Central and W. China
Accession: 1981
Location: Beside Visitor Centre pond

Metasequoia was originally reported as an extinct genus, based only on widely distributed fossils over 100 million years old, until 1943 when small populations were discovered in central China. The tree is critically endangered in the wild, but has now been planted extensively in arboreta, parks and gardens worldwide. It is a deciduous conifer, with reddish-brown fibrous bark and soft, pale green ferny foliage which turns coppery-pink and russet-brown in autumn. It is fast-growing, makes an excellent specimen tree and is tolerant of waterlogging.
Thanks to Maggie Gowland for photographs.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Of yeasts and men: Wednesday 18th October, 2.15pm
Graeme Walker, Professor of Zymology and Director of the Abertay Yeast Research Group at Abertay University will give this lecture in the D'Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre in the Tower Building, Dundee University, at 2.15 on Wednesday 18th October. There is a charge of £2.

Yeasts are the world’s premier industrial microbes. Yeast and fermentation technology is entwined with the history of human civilisation – from ancient Egyptian brewing to modern day biotechnology.
This lecture will explore the diversity of yeasts and their products, following a journey from beer to biofuels to biopharmaceuticals and beyond.
We hope to see you there - bring a friend!

Monday, 2 October 2017

Plant of the month October 2017

Parrotia persica (Persian ironwood)
Family: Hamamelidaceae
Origin: N. Iran, Caucasus
Accession: 1981
Location: Beside Visitor Centre pond

P. persica is a wide-spreading, often multi-stemmed deciduous tree or large shrub slow-growing to 8m, with attractive flaking bark and broadly ovate leaves which colour well in autumn, turning yellow, red and purple. It has small but abundant crimson flowers on bare twigs in late winter and early spring. P. persica is one of several relict genera of the tertiary period to be found in the north of Iran. Although extremely hardy, it prefers a rich, fertile soil that does not dry out. Parrotia is named after the German naturalist Friedrich Parrot.

Thanks to Maggie Gowland for photographs.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

The Friends had a stand at the Dundee Flower & Food Festival from 1-3 September. A great opportunity for members to volunteer to raise awareness of the Garden, the Botanic Garden Endowment Trust, and the Friends. Bob Sutherland from the Garden and his colleagues created a great display, which earned a Silver Gilt Medal certificate.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Plant of the month September 2017

Nicotiana mutabilis (Tobacco plant)
Family: Solanaceae
Origin: Brazil
Location: Evolution Garden

Nicotiana can be annuals, biennials, perennials or shrubs, with simple, alternate leaves and tubular or salver-shaped, often fragrant flowers borne in racemes or panicles in summer or autumn. N. mutabilis is an upright half-hardy annual to 1.5m tall with a basal rosette of large, oval leaves. In summer, airy clouds of trumpet-shaped flowers are borne on branching stems changing colour as they age from white through shades of pink. Good for cut flowers, it grows best in fertile soil in full sun. All parts of the plant are toxic.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Friends' Anthology Project, 2nd Focus Day

The second focus day for the Friends' Anthology project will take place on 19th August in the botanic garden. This project offers local writers, poets, artists and photographers a unique opportunity to showcase their work by submitting it for inclusion in an anthology scheduled to appear in the spring of 2019. Further details can be found at the Project web site.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

The JOOT Theatre Company entertained us to a very Mad Hatter's tea party last month.
Thanks to Rob Watt for letting us share his photos.

The Mad Hatter

The Cheshire Cat

Alice with the White Rabbit

The Mad Hatter

The Queen of Hearts

Alice in conversation with an admirer
The Cheshire Cat tries to escape but no luck

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Plant of the month August 2017

Agapanthus campanulatus (African lily)
Family: Alliacea
Origin: Temperate South Africa
Accession: 1986
Location: Outside glasshouse

A. campanulatus is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial, forming vigorous clumps to 1m tall, with narrow, strap-like leaves and erect stems bearing umbels of trumpet-shaped, lavender-blue flowers in summer. It is native to mountain grassland areas of South Africa and dies down in winter to re-emerge the following spring. It grows best in moist, well-drained soil in full sun; in exposed sites it needs some winter protection.

Friends' Anthology Project, 2nd Focus Day

The second focus day for the Friends' Anthology project will take place on 19th August. This project offers local writers, poets, artists and photographers a unique opportunity to showcase their work by submitting it for inclusion in an anthology scheduled to appear in the spring of 2019. Further details can be found at the Project web site.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Summer Gathering 2017

Dear Friend and family,

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the second Friends’ Summer Gathering to be held in the Garden on Saturday 12th August between 4pm and 9pm. This will bring together Friends, families and their guests and the evening will be accompanied by a variety of live music ranging from classical to blues. There will be food to suit all tastes including vegetarian options. Full details can be found on the Summer Gathering tab of this blog. Closing date for booking is 5th August.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Plant of the month July 2017

Callistemon viridiflorus (Mountain bottlebrush)
Family: Myrtaceae
Origin: Tasmania
Accession: 2010
Location: Australia

The evergreen bottlebrushes are found only in Australia, and all have flowers with long colourful stamens produced in cylindrical spikes. Mountain bottlebrush is a hardy medium-sized shrub, with the young foliage flushed pink and downy. The flowers are up to 7cm long, with pale yellow-green filaments, borne in dense clusters in midsummer, and followed by fruits which are woody capsules.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Friends' Anthology Project, 2nd Focus Day

The second focus day for the Friends' Anthology project will take place on 19th August. This project offers local writers, poets, artists and photographers a unique opportunity to showcase their work by submitting it for inclusion in an anthology scheduled to appear in the spring of 2019. Further details can be found at the Project web site.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Friends visit to the Garden of Remembrance at RM Condor Sunday 25th June.

The globe at the centre of the garden - and the Unit's badge.

8.5 tonnes of granite from Aberdeenshire for the memorial.

All of the 6000 plants in the Garden have to be in the Unit's colours of red, yellow and blue.

4.5 tonnes of rock from the Falklands - shipped back to the UK.

The clover is left deliberately for the bees.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Plant of the Month June 2017

Echium pininana
Family: Boraginaceae
Origin: Canary Islands
Accession: 2016
Location: By MacroMicro Studio

E. pininana is a rosette-forming biennial or short-lived perennial with lance-shaped, roughly silver-hairy leaves to 7cm long. Each rosette produces a flower panicle up to 4m long of funnel-shaped blue flowers with large bracts in summer. It needs full sun in a sheltered position and protection from winter frosts. In its native habitat in La Palma it is now endangered through habitat loss.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Fascinating foraging walk and talk with Clare in the Garden yesterday - showing us all what is edible and what is not.

Angelica (edible) versus giant hogweed (poisonous) - same family

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Friends plant sale in the Garden this Sunday 21st from 11am. Also lots of other things going on in the Garden - wood turners, the bee keepers, the birds of prey, the BarrowBand: Broccoli
( ) and much more. Free entry.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Plant of the month May 2017

Rhododendron augustinii
Family: Ericaceae
Origin: Central and Western China
Accession: 1985
Location: Asia

This evergreen rhododendron species is in the subsection Triflora, which are very free-flowering. It grows best in a woodland setting with some shelter, and will tolerate near neutral soil. It was discovered by Dr. Augustine Henry, a medical officer, in Szechuan, China, and introduced in 1899.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Plant of the Month April 2017

Amherstia nobilis - Pride of Burma
Family: Fabaceae
Origins: Burma
Location: Tropical Glasshouse
Accession: 1984

This tropical tree has spectacular flowers and large compound leaves bearing 6 - 8 leaflets, drooping and brown when young. It is widely cultivated for ornament in the humid tropics, but very rare in the wild. Discovered by Nathaniel Wallich in a Burmese temple in 1827, it was named after Lady Amherst, the wife of the British Governor General. The Duke of Devonshire obtained plants for a special ‘Amherstia house’ at Chatsworth, but could not to get it to flower for many years.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Easter eggventure in the Garden 9th April - a children's event

The Friends are holding a members' event in the Garden, aimed at children under the age of 10, accompanied by as many parents/grandparents as they like, on Sunday 9th April from 3pm - approximate end time 4.15pm.
There will be Easter related activities, including decorating an egg, but please bring your own hardboiled egg!
Numbers are limited for this event, so booking is essential.
Please book via email to the committee email address
There is no charge.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Plant of the month March 2017

Cunninghamia lanceolata
Family: Cupressaceae
Origin: China
Accession: 1979
Location: Garden of Evolution

C. lanceolata is a conical evergreen tree with softly spined, needle-like leaves which spiral around the stem, bearing two greenish-white stomatal bands beneath. Cones are small, spherical and inconspicuous. The tree tends to sucker around the base and grow in a multi-trunked form. It is a prized timber tree in China, producing highly durable scented wood, and is also grown as an ornamental tree reaching 15-30m in height. It was named after Dr. James Cunningham, an East India Company surgeon at Amoy, China, who introduced it to cultivation in 1702.

Friday, 3 March 2017

New log play area in the Garden under construction - financed by the Friends.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Berry Good for You: Berries and Human Health.

Sunday 5th March 2017

Gordon McDougall of the James Hutton Institute.    The talk will cover work from the Institute and its collaborators which suggests that berries have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, type 2 diabetes, cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and infections.  Berries have an ancient, almost mythological association with health and have been used as cures in Scottish folklore and from other cultures.  Dr McDougall examines the accruing evidence for health benefits from berries such as raspberries, black currants and strawberries, which have been bred at his institute for many years.  Education Centre in the Garden at 2 p.m. Free to members of the Friends; others – donations welcome.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Sunday 12th February 2017

We regret this event has had to be cancelled. We hope to reschedule later in the spring or summer.

Daryll Archibald, of the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research, and Policy at Edinburgh University will talk about his research on Green Gyms for Older People.  Education Centre in the Garden at 2 p.m.  Free to members of the Friends; others – donations welcome.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Some hard digging going on in the tropical glasshouse on Thursday as Clare and Kevin remove a date palm.