What We Do
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh delivers world-leading plant science, conservation and education programmes. Our mission is to ‘Explore, Conserve and Explain the World of Plants for a Better Future'.
All life is dependent on plants and fungi. Recent estimates indicate that 20 per cent of all flowering plant species have yet to be discovered and described. The kingdom of fungi remains largely unexplored.
Our focus is on accelerating species discovery and proving a knowledge resource, identifying species at imminent risk of extinction, those of particular importance to humankind and diversity in poorly known and threatened areas of the world. On average each month we describe three plant species new to science.
Taxonomy involves species discovery, delimitation and identification. We organise biodiversity into a manageable framework to underpin ecological and biological research. RBGE’s Living Collection, Herbarium and Library, established and maintained over 350 years, provide the basic tools that support this research.
We develop effective methodologies to accelerate and enhance characterisation of the planet’s biodiversity. We use DNA data to unravel species relationships, providing a fascinating insight into the evolution and ecology of the world's plants.
The 'Botanics' in Edinburgh and its three Regional Gardens - Benmore, Dawyck and Logan - attract over one million visitors every year. Each Garden is different in topography, soils and climate enabling an exceptionally wide range of plants to be grown. Together they constitute one of the richest plant collections on earth.
250,000-400,000 estimated number of land plant species on earth
70,000 of new plant species awaiting description
40% of the world's plants threatened with extinction
One of the best of its kind in the world
13,500 plant species from 157 countries
60% of plants from wild origin
Established in 1670