Saturday, July 16, 2011

Planning to visit some interesting places in a few months!

I had to post on this as I am going to have a chance to go visit all kinds of fascinating places in London this October.... and this is one place I hope to get to... very close by the Victoria and Albert Museum.

You can read much more by visiting the website and seeing what's possible to view online as well as onsite. Botany is one of the departments with a large collection and research being carried out. Of course I had to see what this was all about. Click on the green text below to read more under each title.

Seed plants (spermatophytes)

What are seed plants?

Seed plants are characterised by the development of a seed after fertilisation. The seed usually contains an embryo and a food supply, all surrounded by a protective coat.
  • Dried specimen of the common poppy, Papaver rhoeas L, from the Museum's herbarium
    Find out about the two major groups of seed plants: angiosperms and gymnosperms.
  • Wood anemone, Anemone nemorosa,  growing in woodland
    Learn more about the abundance and habitats of angiosperms and gymnosperms.
  • Fossil of a wind-dispersed seed of Acer pseudocampestre
    Evolution of seed plants
    When did seed plants evolve?
  • A scanning electron microscope image of a blueberry (Vaccinium sp.)
    The impact of seed plants on our lives
    Seed plants play a host of important roles in our lives, from providing food to controlling pollution, but can also cause problems such as hayfever.
  • Solanum herculeum, a narrow endemic from southern Spain
    Seed plant research
    Seed plant taxonomic expertise within the Botany Department includes the Asteraceae, Convolvulaceae, Hypericaceae, Orobanchaceae, Solanaceae and Urticaceae families. Find out more about related research projects.
  • Anemone pavonina, a flowering Mediterranean plant species
    Seed plant collections
    Find out about our seed plant collections, an important resource for the scientific community. The earliest specimens originate from the 17th century and some collections provide time series that make it possible to study climate and vegetation changes.

    View of the Museum from the Wildlife Garden
    View of the Museum from the Wildlife Garden

    Opening hours

    The Botany Department is open to visitors Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays) from 9.00 to 17.30 or by special arrangement. Please contact us first by phone or email to arrange your visit.

    Sister institutes

    The Department of Botany at the Natural History Museum holds national and international collections. Equivalent organisations in the UK are the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. We have strong links with both.
    We also have links with the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, exchanging staff and ideas. We collaborate with other botanical institutes and laboratories around the world.
    Unlike the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew and Edinburgh, the Natural History Museum does not maintain its own botanical garden. Some studies are carried out in our Wildlife Garden but our living collections are held at the Chelsea Physic Garden.
    For details on how to contact us go to departmental information.

    Welcome to Chelsea Physic Garden

    Situated in the heart of London, this 'Secret Garden' is a centre of education, beauty and relaxation. Chelsea Physic Garden was founded by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London in 1673 for its apprentices to study the medicinal qualities of plants. Throughout the 1700s it was one of the most important centres of botany and plant exchange in the world. It is London’s oldest botanic garden and a unique living museum.
    Late night openings 2011From 29th June to 7th September the Garden will be open until 10pm on Wednesday evenings (Last entry 8:30pm). These late openings go hand in hand with our Summer Evening Talks which this year are based on Trees.
    For the full list of Tree talks click here.

    TREES - Summer Evening Talks - 29th June - 31st August
    Over 100 different named trees grow at Chelsea Physic Garden, from pomegranates and cork trees to grapefruits and olives, cedars and pines to mulberries, magnolias and eucalyptus. The Garden probably has the greatest variety of living trees in one place in central London. Many are rare in Britain...and every one of them has a story.
    As part of the UN International Year of Forests, Chelsea Physic Garden celebrates trees: their origins, anatomy, uses and mythologies and trees will be the special theme for the Garden's 2011 summer evening talks.
    Hugh Johnson, well known for his wine books and also an authority on trees, will kick off the TREES season with a fascinating look at exotic trees in the English landscape.
    Summer Talks tickets are £15 (including Garden admission)/£10 for Friends of the Garden.
    For full programme details please click here.

    The Chelsea Physic Garden has developed a major role in public education focusing on the renewed interest in natural medicine. The Garden of World Medicine which is Britain's first garden of ethnobotany (or the study of the botany of different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples) is laid out together with a new Pharmaceutical Garden.
    More history of the Garden can be found on the page about the Historical Walk, as well as the following links:

    Union Jack flagChelsea Physic Garden - A Brief History (PDF/484Kb)

    Picture of Hans Sloane's statue through a plant bed

    How charming..... there is a cafe there called " Tangerine Dream Cafe" and they serve things like

    Fig, thyme and almond tart*

    Tunisian citrus almond cake*
    Lemon tart*
    Lavender scones with clotted cream and homemade seasonal jam
    Fabulous brownies*
    *All served with creme fraiche where desired
    RefreshmentsPots of Tea
    Real coffee, espresso, cappucino
    Homemade lemonade
    Homemade ginger beer
    Real ale and lager

    I am going to be very busy getting around I can much to see...  
    if only I could make it to Paris....

     from France... these looked so interesting...
    Les collections de végétaux vasculaires sont très importantes au Muséum, au sein de l'imposant herbier national mais aussi sous forme de collections vivantes, dans les serres et les jardins. Les végétaux vasculaires, rassemblant les plantes à graines et les fougères, possèdent racines, tiges, feuilles, et vaisseaux permettant la circulation de la sève entre les racines et les parties aériennes.

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