History of the Botanical Society of Scotland




February 8th
Dr John Hutton Balfour held a meeting at his home at 15 Dundas Street, Edinburgh. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the formation of a botanical society. Dr Balfour went on to become Professor of Medicine and Botany at the University of Edinburgh, Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden and Queen's Botanist in Scotland.

March 17th
The Botanical Society of Edinburgh (BSE) was instituted, and formed close links with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE).


The Society started publication of its first journal, 'Transactions of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh'.


The Botanical Society of Edinburgh donated its herbarium of thousands of species to the RBGE.


The Society donated its valuable library to the RBGE. With the herbarium this formed the nucleus for the development of the Royal Botanic Garden's own extensive herbarium and library


Members of the Society discussed climatic changes in Scotland: Mr. McNab defended the popular theory that the climate of Scotland's summers was cooler, and of winters warmer, than formerly, based on facts deduced from "vegetable phenomena". Mr. Buchan, however, examined the question solely with reference to the recorded monthly mean temperature observation starting in 1781. Mr. Buchan showed that the temperature variations were quite in the opposite direction to that of public belief.


The Cryptogamic Society of Scotland (founded in 1875) was incorporated into the Botanical Society of Edinburgh.


The one hundredth anniversary of the Society. The President's Centenary address to the Society can be downloaded here.


The Society changed its name to the Botanical Society of Scotland (BSS). This was fitting and appropriate to reflect the Society's wide outlook and interests.


The Society's journal, 'Transactions of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh', was renamed the 'Botanical Journal of Scotland'.


The Society's journal was relaunched as 'Plant Ecology and Diversity', published by the BSS and Taylor & Francis.


The Botanical Society of Scotland launched its new website.


In June of this year Society Members gathered to celebrate 175 years since the foundation of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh and 20 years since its expansion to the Botanical Society of Scotland. A small selection of the photographs taken by Derek Christie is attached.

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