Category Archives: People

Welcome Richard Higgins, our latest BSc researcher in Tropical Biodiversity

A new round of BSc research projects have just started for 2014/15 academic year.  Richard Higgins will be working with Paul Hatcher and Alastair Culham on the monitoring and management of Mealy bug in the tropical glasshouse. 

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Horse tales: all about Equisetum myriochaetum

This gallery contains 3 photos.

What’s named after a horse, older than a horse and can keep you warm in winter? So-called because of their bristly appearance, the horsetails are an intriguing group of early plants that have existed since the Devonian period [1]. Fossil … Continue reading

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MERL Village Fete

The Museum of English Rural Life held its annual Village Fete  on Saturday 31st May. The Herbarium was represented in the form of a tropical food plants display showing some of the plants we grow in our tropical glasshouse. The … Continue reading

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Highwood Primary School discovers roots, stems and leaves

Standing amongst the dense foliage of  large exotic plants with the smells of damp earth and fragrant leaves around me, the sun cooking the air, I tried to explain to a group of pupils from Highwood Primary School why plants … Continue reading

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Persea americana: Anachronistic Avocado

If you’ve ever bought an avocado, you’ll know it’s one of those fruits which seems to take forever to ripen. Botanically, the fruit of the avocado is actually a berry with a single (very large) seed. Both of these facts are connected to an interesting evolutionary relationship….   … Continue reading

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The bitter sweet story of sugar cane Saccharum officinarum

The dramatic story of sugar cane is a somber reminder of human greed, exploitation and slave labour. The events continue to unfold today, as sugar cane is implicated in contentious issues such as human health, addiction and fair trade. However, … Continue reading

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A natural Frankestein: the orchid hybrid, Epidendrum x obrienianum

Humankind has always dreamed of chimeras, the Frankenstein´s monster or flying pigs. All this can actually happen in the plant world!! (although they cannot still fly). Many orchid growers have produced astonishing plants that can fascinate the human eye and … Continue reading

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Ludisia discolor, the foliage plant orchid

Ludisia discolor really is an orchid, although if you see it with no flowers, or without a label, you could be forgiven for thinking it wasn’t. Assuming it isn’t an orchid is very understandable, as it grows in soil, unlike … Continue reading

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Pinguicula laueana – a clever little brute in a pretty scarlet-red suit

Although this plant looks quite innocent and harmless with gorgeous red flowers and small, compact leaved rosettes, it ‘eats’ with great appetite little insects using unique, highly sophisticated and efficient traps. Together with the genera Genlisea and Utricularia, Pinguicula belongs … Continue reading

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Adiantum capillus-veneris

Adiantum Capillus-veneris (Maidenhair fern) Capillus- veneris  means hair of Venus, the goddess of love named by ancient Greeks because it has stunning fronds, ʻcapillus’ means “hair” and ʻvenerisʼ comes from Venus. [1]

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