Welcome to this twenty-first edition of the Botany News!

  • A note from the editor
  • The secret life of onions
  • The flower box

A note from the editor

Dear readers!
Welcome to Botany News.  I hope readers enjoy the content and I would love to hear your feedback. The summer has arrived and Wood Cranebill and buttercups nod their flower heads in the mild summer.  Here and there young Rowan trees grow taller and an old birch boasts its green leaves.  The days are long and bright. Enjoy the newsletter!

The secret life of onions
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) is a perennial plant that thrives well in northern gardens and can be grown in flower pots on your patio.  Chives produces dense tufts of long green scapes.  Chop the scapes finely over your food enjoying all the freshness and flavour.  Planting chives among your other food plants in the vegetable garden repels herbivorous insects and slugs.  This plant will give good harvest year after year, often remains alive in the winter while starting to grow vigorously in the spring.  Cut fresh scapes every day throughout the summer and sprinkle over your spring soup, summer salad and open sandwich.  In the summer while the scapes are still green you can cut some of your chives and then sun-dry the cuttings on an open tray or dry them in an oven at low heat.  Chives is excellent as a dried herb and will keep its flavour for quite some time in a closed glass jar.

Chives has been cultivated here in Iceland for many centuries, while parsley, dill and mint have also been traditionally grown here for a long time.  Garlic (Allium oleraceum) is an onion species related to chives and certain cultivars can be grown in gardens here with some success.  Garlic does not grow in the wild here in Iceland while it is common in the wild over most of Europe, e.g. in Britain, and prefers moist clayish soil.  Flavour your salad or soup with chives and garlic and perhaps a few other herbs this summer. Enjoy!
The flower box
Send us letters and articles about plants and green issues for publication in the next issue of Botany News, you can also view archived issues online.  Botany News is a forum for botany and ecology, environmental issues and conservation.  You can ask us to include links to your web in the newsletter or links page.  Please, send us tips on content for the next newsletter.

We offer tours to explore the country's vegetation and the tours are both educational and a unique experience. Generally, the tours involve light hiking and plant watching in wild and semi-wild nature, e.g., on beaches, lava, hills and recreation areas.  The tour theme is the breathtaking vegetation, unique natural phenomena and culture of Iceland.  We explore hills and lava, grass and forb meadows, coastal and riverbank vegetation, lush forests and cold desert sands.  While there is plenty of time to experience the unique landscape, geology and the history and the present of each place.

Warm regards,
Soffia Arnthorsdottir
BOTANY NEWS is published by Thund, Reykjavík, Iceland
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July 2nd, 2017 -- Botany News, issue #021


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