Thursday, 3 November 2016

European Botanic Gardens

I August I returned from a trip around European botanic gardens. Starting in the Netherlands I visited gardens in Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland. Part of my PhD research the idea was to survey the glasshouses across as many countries as I could manage to add an international element to my thesis. Across 500 quadrats and seven botanic gardens in recorded a total of 199 taxa.

Oxalis corniculata and its allies were the most frequent species recorded and one of the key focuses of my research. I had a very useful meeting with Quentin Groom at Meise Botanic Gardens to discus our respective research on the group. Seeing lots of O. dillenii helped me get to grips with recognising it in the field with its upright growth form, (generally) pale, bright green colour and somewhat 'whorled' appearance.   

Oxalis dillenii,
Charles University Botanical Garden, Prague.

I don't have many images that aren't of Oxalis so I won't add much more to this post other than a few miscellaneous pictures from the trip. Firstly Solanum nigrum the leaves of which seem to get significantly more lobed in Eastern Europe. The plants look very distinct from ours but I can't find any mention of them being taxonomically different.  

Solanum nigrum, Botanická zahrada Praha

My favourite garden was the overgrown and deserted Ogród Botaniczny PAN outside Warsaw. The glasshouses were full of myriad weeds including the only plant of Cannabis sativa I recorded on the trip and the outside areas had species such as Melampyrum nemorosum running wild. 

Cannabis sativa, Ogród Botaniczny PAN

Melampyrum nemorosum with
Graphocephala fennahi,
Ogród Botaniczny PAN

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