What is Scientific Illustration?Host of Real World Gardener radio show Marianne, speaks with Sydney Botanic Gardens Scientific Illustrator, Catherine Wardrop
1. Scientific illustration is one of many aspects of botanical research to aid plant identification and conservation at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. How does it help?
- Any knowledge of plants helps.Catherine had studied 5 years at arts school completing an undergrad and post grad studies in visual art. Post grad was in plant and wildlife illustration.
- For a full plate which includes the habit of the plant, Catherine likes to do the microscope drawings first. It also involves a bit re-constructing. Scientific illustrator will include all parts of the life cycle of the plant.
- When you start drawing a new species that has no previous illustrations or specimens.
- Each group of buds is called a floret.
- Firstly, supermarket Broccoli has probably been sprayed for all manner of pests whether or not the pests visited the Broccoli plant.
- Secondly, supermarket Broccoli stems are pretty tough to eat, when they’re supposed to be tender.
- Why, because that type of Broccoli transports better?
- Homegrown Broccoli, especially the heirloom varieties, also re-shoot after your cut of the central Broccoli stem. Plus, Broccoli is pretty easy to grow.
- If you just buy broccoli at the green grocer’s, the broccoli may look great but the taste may not be up to scratch. How so? They may have been picked before becoming fully-mature. Or they may have been picked at the right time but then stored too long.
- With home-grown broccoli, you can also be sure how it has been grown: You know exactly where it has come from, what you used to grow and protect it, unlike those sold in supermarkets and even in farmer’s markets.
- The reason why broccoli is making an appearance in this segment is that even though it’s called Romanesco broccoli it’s much more crunchy than either broccoli or cauliflower.The flavour is different as well, some say nutty even, while others say it tastes like a cross between broccoli and cauliflower.That seems too hard to imagine.
- To add to the confusion, apparently the French call it Romanesco cabbage and the English called it Italian asparagus.
- You might’ve heard of the Fibonacci sequence?
- The plants need the same care as either Broccoli, or cauliflower and that is they’re not too choosy about the site they’re growing in but prefers to be in full sun, but also will tolerate partial shade with no problems.Growing in too much shade will reduce the size of the Broccoli head.
- The ideal soil is a reasonably heavy (not pure clay) which is rich in nutrients and has been well-dug. Like all brassicas, Broccoli needs a minimum soil pH of 6; but really prefers a pH of 7. Add lime if you need to raise the soil pH.
- Broccoli is what’s called a heavy feeder, so do add plenty of blood and bone, and decomposed manures by the bucket load before you start.
- TIP:Don’t plant or sow Romanesco Broccoli in your veggie bed if you’ve grown it before in the past 3 years. You may get a disease called Club Root that causes you Broccoli plant to wilt regardless of how much water you give it.
- Remember the acronym. LRLC-Legumes, root veg, leafy then Cucurbits, Brassicas.
- It will be about 70-100 days or 2 ½ -4 months, when your Broccoli will be ready if you plant it now.