Category Archives: Botany

Almost a Year …

In 2017, I photographed one conifer @CUBotanicGarden once a month. I have to admit that the result was not completely gripping, so I thought that for 2018 I would track the development of the laid hedge there. I failed at … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: December 2018

Not a traditionally Chrismassy plant, but something I came across @CUBotanicGarden the other morning, flowering its socks off against the glasshouse range, Correa backhouseana (or backhousiana according to some sources) is interesting not merely in botanical but also in history-of-science … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month, November 2018

This is an unlikely pick for the time of year: an aloe which looks as though it ought to be under glass but none the less is thriving (so far, in this unnaturally warm autumn) outdoors, in front of the … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month, October 2018

What is an autumn crocus? The easy answer is that it is not in fact a crocus (in the Iridaceae family) but a colchicum (in the Colchicaceae family), Colchicum autumnale to be precise. Needless to say, neither life nor taxonomy … Continue reading

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Sister of the More Famous Tycho

When I wrote a valedictory piece in another place, before starting my Vita Nuova, I mentioned that one of the many books I might never now read was a biography of Tycho (properly Tyge Ottensen) Brahe (1546–1601), by John Louis … Continue reading

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William Turner, Naturalist

I have mentioned before Dr Richard Pulteney (1730–1801), the sole survivor of eleven children from an Old Anabaptist family near Loughborough, Leicestershire, who was apprenticed to an apothecary and then set up as an apothecary and surgeon in Leicester. After … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: August 2018

This month, I give you Gladiolus murielae, for no better reason (or, in my opinion, the extremely cogent reason) that I have, after several years of trying, actually got it to flower this year! Admittedly, one flower and one bud … Continue reading

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