Botany

The Botanical Section welcomes anyone interested in all kinds of plants. Join us from spring to autumn on our Summer excursions to explore the many beautiful places of Perthshire and discover their fascinating flora. We hold about twelve excursions a year, either in the evenings, during the week or at weekends. Our searches cover a wide range of habitats, from mountain tops to river valleys, looking at plants throughout the seasons and ending with a fungal foray. There is at least one excursion organized for the summer that takes us beyond the boundaries of Perthshire. Members are always on hand to help with plant identification and with the understanding of our flora.

During the winter months the Botanical Section organizes six talks on different aspects of plant life or natural history. The evening meetings are very popular and we finish the evening over a cup of tea or coffee with a chance to chat to the speaker and other members.

The outstanding work of Francis Buchanan White, the founder of the PSNS, resulted in the publication of the Flora of Perthshire in 1898 after his death. The Flora includes records made by other members, including the Birnam Postie, Charles Macintosh, whose botanical interests influenced Beatrix Potter. Latter day members helped to compile The Checklist of the Plants of Perthshire (available to purchase – see our publications page), and we continue our efforts to update our knowledge of the flora of this, very special area. We work closely with other organisations such as Plantlife, the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland and the Botanical Society of Scotland.

The section publishes an annual bulletin and copies are available to download on the PSNS Publications page.

For more information about Botanical Section activities contact the section secretary, Liz Lavery at eldlavery@outlook.com

Today, PSNS members continue to be involved in community activities. For one Doors Open day at Perth Museum and Art Gallery our members produced a series of educational panels on the “Architectural Significance of Plants”

WINTER LECTURES 2019 – 2020

All indoor meetings are held on Wednesdays at 7.30pm in the Sandeman Room, AK Bell Library, York Place, Perth PH2 8EP. Evenings conclude over tea and coffee.

October 30: ‘The Flora of Central Scotland; 40 Years of Change’ Dr Roy Sexton, Bridge of Allan

November 20: ‘Our Orchid Meadow (12 species) grown from seed’ Dave Trudgill, Blairgowrie

December 11: The Flora of Fife– Dr Sandy Edwards, St. Andrews, BSBI recorder for Fife VC85

January 29: ‘The Secret World of Rhododendrons’ Dr Richard Milne, University of Edinburgh (Joint talk with Botanical Society of Scotland)

‘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 weaves together science, mythology, adventure and history to give a new perspective on these extraordinary plants.’

February 26: ‘The Wildlife Information Centre – What we do and why it matters’ – Natalie Harmsworth, acting Centre Manager, TWIC

March 18: Botanical Section AGM followed by Members’ Night. Members have the floor for a light-hearted evening to share their own experiences, photographs and stories.

Bulletins of the Section

The Section produces an Annual Bulletin recording activities over the previous year. Bulletins can be downloaded from the PSNS Publications page. A Spreadsheet index to excursion venues described in Section Bulletins can also be downloaded.