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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh was founded in the 17th century on an area the size of a tennis court. It now extends to 31 hectares (at Inverleith in Edinburgh), incorporates Specialist Gardens at three very different locations in Scotland (Younger, Logan and Dawyck; 50ha, 12ha and 25ha), and is one of the world's finest botanic gardens. The Garden is first and foremost a scientific institution, dedicated to the pursuit of research of the highest quality on the systematics and biology of plants. This research, which underpins other plant science and conservation, is made possible by the garden's internationally important collections of living and preserved plants, and by its library, one of the largest botanical libraries in Britain.
William Roxburgh: The Founding Father
of Indian Botany. Tim Robinson. Due Spring 2008. 250 pp.,
150+ color illustrations. Large Format Hardcover. $155.00
Considered by his 18th century contemporaries to be the 'the greatest living botanist since Linnaeus' this is the first full biography of this remarkable botanist. Beautifully illustrated throughout with archival material, botanical drawings and photographs, some published here for the first time.
Monkey Puzzle Man - Archibald Menzies, Plant Hunter . James McCarthy. From his humble beginnings in the mid 18th century, Archibald Menzies came to be regarded as one of the foremost plant collectors of his time. Remarkably, this is one of the first full biographies of Menzies' eventful life: his early years in rural Perthsire, his time at RBGE as a gardener, his service as a naval surgeon at one of the bloodiest periods for the British Navy before his appointment as naturalist on HMS Discovery and his relationship with the irascible Captain George Vancouver.
Published: December 2007. $75.00
Robert Wight and the Botanical Drawings of Rungiah & Govindoo
H. J. Noltie
Book 1. The Life and Work of Robert Wight
Book 2. Botanical Drawings by Rungiah & Govindoo: the Wight Collection
Book 3. Journeys in Search of Robert Wight
This trilogy forms the second in a series of illustrated works devoted to collections of botanical drawings made by Indian artists for Scottish surgeon-botanists, held in the library of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. In the central volume are reproduced some 200 of the drawings commissioned between 1826 and 1853 by Robert Wight (1796-1872) from the artists Rungiah and Govindoo. The first volume documents Wight's life and work as an East India Company surgeon and his major contributions to taxonomy and economic botany. The third volume is a travelogue, describing the author's journeys in search of Wight in Britain and India.
A fascinating tale emerges of the exploration of the South Indian flora, and of the workings of the East India Company who were always on the look out for potentially exploitable natural resources. While most of Wight's botanical work (including the commissioning of the drawings) was done in his leisure time, and paid for from his own pocket, the Company from 1835 employed him as an economic botanist, and for ten years he was in charge of an experiment on the cultivation of long-staple American cotton based around Coimbatore. Wight employed local plant collectors who travelled widely through South India, often accompanied by an artist. These journeys took them through what are now the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Many of the resulting collections are held in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, where Wight studied botany in 1816 and 1817 - these include some 23, 000 herbarium specimens and 500 original drawings.
In 2005 the taxonomic part of the project was published as The Botany of Robert Wight. This dealt with the taxonomy and nomenclature of Wight's more than 1200 new species and 100 new genera, and won the 2005 Stafleu Medal awarded by the International Association of Plant Taxonomists.
The purpose of the present work is to make these wonderful drawings (only
eight of which have ever been published in colour) available to a wider
audience: they represent a fascinating and important part of the shared culture
of Britain and India.
Publication Date 1 May 2007, approx. 500 pp. about 300 figures.
ISBN of set: 978 1 906129 02 6: set price $255.00
Ethnoflora of the Soqotra Archipelago. Anthony G Miller & Miranda Morris .2004. this book is a manual of the plants of this little-known but botanically important group of islands, which is part of Yemen and situated in the Arabian Sea. It provides comprehensive information on the traditional uses of all plants found on the islands and contains a fully-illustrated key to all plant families and species – all species on the islands are illustrated with at least one line drawing, and there are color photos of most of the 300 endemic species. Hardcover; 776pp; 500 color photos over 64 plates; 2,500 black & white line drawings. ISBN No: 1 87229 159 7. $150.00
4 Gardens in One. by Deni Bown; edited by Alan P. Bennell and Norma M. Gregory (1992). This splendid volume tells the story of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, from its founding in 1670 as a small Physic Garden in the shadow of Holyrood Palace to its status today as one of the world's great botanical institutions. In addition to providing fascinating glimpses of the vital scientific research into plants and their conservation around the globe, celebrated horticultural writer and photographer Deni Bown guides the reader season by season around each of the four remarkable gardens that comprise the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Over 300 superb full-color illustrations bring to life the exotic riches to be found not only in the heart of Edinburgh, but also on a highland hillside at the Younger Botanic Garden Benmore in Argyll, in a subtropical oasis at Logan Botanic Garden in Galloway and in a Borders glen at Dawyck Botanic Garden in Tweeddale - truly 4 Gardens in One! ISBN 1 872291 08 2, Hardback. viii + 212pp. $51.00
A revision of Rhododendron. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has publishes a series of monographs on the genus Rhododendron in Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and its successor Edinburgh Journal of Botany. The classification used is derived from that proposed by Sleumer (Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 79: 297-393, 1949)
Accepted names in Rhododendron section Vireya. by George Argent, et al (1996). This booklet lists all currently accepted Vireya names together with their synonyms, plus provides a complete alphabetical listing of all published names. It has bee produced to draw together the main taxonomic changes that have occurred at the species level or below since Professor Sleumer's major publication in Flora Malesiana in 1996. These lists were generated from the information held on the Garden's database, BG-BASE. ISBN 1 872291 56 2, softback, ii + 40 pages. $22.00
The Genus Rhododendron: its classification and synonymy. by David Chamberlain, et al (1996). This new publication contains alphabetical and taxonomic lists of names in the genus Rhododendron, based on the series of monographs detailed in the above titles- but incorporating adjustments resulting from recent international research. It also includes an alphabetical list of Biological Recording Unit codes along with a record of the accepted taxa that occur in each, plus a list of the living collections of Rhododendron at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. While names of known hybrids are included, those taxa regarded as cultivars are not. Names for more recently described species, subspecies and varieties are also given where they are known to the authors; where these post-date the monographs they are included without critical assessment. The book therefore contains a list of the names published up to then end of 1995. Information on both the preserved and living collections at the Garden is stored on a computer database (BG-BASE), and these records have been used to generate the lists that make up this book. ISBN 1 872291 66 X, softback, iii + 184 pp. $33.00
A revision of Dendrobium section Oxyglossum (Orchidaceae), by T. M. Reeve & P. J. B. Woods. Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Vol. 46, No. 2 (1989). ISBN 0 11 493502 5 $54.00
British Fungus Flora (Agarics and Boleti). sold out
The Fungus Flora of Shetland. by Roy Watling (1992). In spite of the rather limited range of vegetational types in Shetland, a surprising number of fungal taxa have been recorded- nearly 1000. The Fungus Flora of Shetland, which was compiled from the results of six years' collecting combined with records gleaned from the literature and personal notes of other collectors, lists these taxa together with details of their habitat and distribution. The vegetational units of the islands are described since they assist in an understanding of the fungal flora, and a full list of taxonomic references is provided. ISBN 1 872291 07 4, softback, iv + 98pp, $30.00
The Fungal Flora of Mull- Additions. by Roy Watling (1985). A commentary on the fungal flora of the island of Mull, with particular emphasis on the macrofungi, introduces a systematically arranged list of additions to the fungal flora. This fungal flora has been considerably enriched by nearly 300 records of rare or previously unrecorded taxa, including several new species. ISBN 0 9504270 3 9, softback, 32pp, $16.00
Catalogue of Plants 1995. edited by Kerry S. Walter et al. (1995). The Living Collections of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) are among the largest in the world, comprising nearly 17,000 species from across the globe. As well as attracting over 900,000 visitors a year, they act as a living reference for botanical and horticultural research, and play a key role in educational activities. This edition of the Catalogue of Plants has a completely new format and lists the living accessions of the RBGE as at July 1995. For each accession, the following information is given: species name with authority, location in the Collections, country of origin, collector and collection number. Information is arranged taxonomically by family, and there is an index to genera and families. ISBN 1 872291 46 5, Softback. xiv + 522pp, $33.00
Indian botanical drawings 1793-1868. HJ Noltie. 1999. The links between the RBGE and India go back 2 centuries when medics, who studies botany in the garden as part of their training, laiud the foundations for our knowledge of Indian flora. Indian artists were commissioned to make paintings of the plants to supplement specimens and written descriptions. Much of this material was sent back to the garden. This book tells the story of these collections, with an emphasis on the paintings which are housed at Edinburgh. A selection of 62 of these spectacular illustrations are reproduced in this book. 100 pp., 62 color plates and 20 color figures. paperback. ISBN 1-872291-23-6. 290X170mm. $50.00
Laboratory Manual of Plant Cytological Techniques. by Kwiton Jong. 1997. Information from chromosomes is of great value to plant taxonomists and researchers aiming to conserve genetic resources and biodiversity. Following the Rio Convention, taxonomy is enjoying a resurgence of interest and support, yet there remains an urgent need for the training of cytologists to provide vital baseline data for taxonomic and systematic studies. This Manual aims to provide easy access to well-tried protocols for obtaining good chromosome preparations. It is invaluable for those with little or no experience in this field; they will appreciate the step-by-step, easy to follow schedules, hints and suggestions that will help towards getting useful cytological data, making 'having another go' less daunting. ISBN 1 872291 42 2, softback, vi + 96pp, $30.00
Manuals of Dipterocarps for Foresters
A Quest for Chilean Plants. 1998. by Peter Baxter et al. with foreword by Roy Lancaster. This beautiful book is a thrilling account of two plant-collecting expeditions to Chile and explains how the collections were processed and researched. Also included are sections on the history of the introduction and cultivation of Chilean plants and RBGE's present-day involvement with them. A Quest for Chilean Plants is fully illustrated with colour photographs of the plants, people and landscapes encountered from the Atacama Desert through to threatened coastal forests, the Andes and the island of Chiloé. ISBN 1 872291 67 8, softback, 32pp, $25.00
The Scottish Garden. by Brinsley Burbidge; text by Fay Young (1989). This book presents a unique photographic record of many of Scotland's finest gardens from Logan Botanic Garden in the far southwest to the Castle of Mey on the north coast of Caithness. It includes full color photos of over 50 gardens. ISBN 0948473 12 6, Hardback. 168 p. $41.00
Scottish Wild Plants: their history, ecology and conservation. Phil Lusby & Jenny Wright. 1996. This book details a selection of over 40 of the rarest and most interesting species, focusing on their features of interest, the history of their discovery (and some of the colorful personalities involved), and in some cases the complicated story of their correct identification, their particular ecological needs and their current status, whether that be thriving or declining. The attractiveness and visual impact of these plants, as well as the range of plant types, from the Scots pine to the tiny Iceland purslane, are superbly captured by Sidney Clarkes photographs taken at locations throughout Scotland. These photographs also illustrate the variety and quality of Scottish habitats in which this selection of species grow. Scottish Wild Plants includes sections that describe the history and development of Scotland's dynamic flora and the main features of the environment that determine its variation. A regional survey of habitats highlights many of the most important botanical areas in Scotland which include mountain ledges, calcareous grasslands and wetlands, where many of our rarest plants survive. The book also describes some of the threats to Scotland's native plants, and current initiatives to protect these plants through legislation, habitat protection and careful management. 116 p., completely illustrated in color. hardcover. $50.00
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