Tchaikovsky’s tribute to economic botany

In Christmas’s past we’ve explored almonds and marzipan, sugar and glace fruits, frankincense and myrrh, Christmas trees and the rather gothic interpretations of Santa and his flying reindeer. For this Christmas Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet, a rare celebration of economic botany, provides the botany of Christmas.

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… you start liking flowers

As a botanist working in a botanic garden I’m fortunate to have access to flowers year round with, as an example close to my office, the outrageous displays of aloes in Adelaide Botanic Garden beginning in mid-winter. Nevertheless Spring’s a time for celebration, not simply for the promise of warmer weather, but for the abundance of Spring flowers.

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Last chance to see?

While the drying racks at Marrawah Kelp Pty Ltd might qualify as a contemporary art installation, their purpose is commercial – here the cast kelp, washed up on local beaches, is collected, dried and prepared for NatraSol products utilised for stock and plant feed supplements.

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The miracle achieved by plants in transforming sunlight into life describes our past, present and future. Ultimately our future is dependent on the role of plants in food, climate and water security.

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