Lecture: The secret world of rhododendrons

Location

Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Leaders

Dr Richard Milne, University of Edinburgh

Date

Thursday, 30 November, 2017 - 18:00

Rhododendrons are familiar to all of us as garden plants, and, in one case, relentless invaders of the countryside. Yet their relationship with human beings goes back far beyond horticulture, and they have been used as medicines, insecticides and intoxicants for centuries. In both myth and reality, they have been used as weapons of war, while many Chinese folk tales associate them with doomed love, and other tragedies. Collectors have diced with death to bring back new kinds, while Victorian breeders pushed the boundaries of what we knew about plant genetics. This talk will weave together science, mythology, adventure and history to give a new perspectives on these extraordinary plants.

Richard gained his first degree in the University of Bristol and his doctorate at St Andrews under Richard Abbott, with David Chamberlain as his external supervisor. His topic was the evolutionary developments leading to the spread of Rhododendron ponticum in the UK. Richard is currently a senior lecturer at Edinburgh University, a position which has gained him countless teaching awards. He has just written a very readable book of the genus Rhododendron and also publishes numerous scientific papers often with Chinese collaborators.

Our lectures are held jointly with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in their lecture theatre at Inverleith Row. Tea will be available from 17:30.


Location

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