The Hidden Beauty of Seeds & Fruits displays the carpology collection of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh like never before. Photographer Levon Biss painstakingly examined 3,500 historical specimens to select just 121 for inclusion, highlighting those with the most striking evolutionary adaptations and stories. Many of the specimens date back to the early 19th Century and were collected by the pioneering botanists of their time, including those on the Challenger Expedition in 1872.
The images presented by Levon allow the audience to appreciate and study these tiny specimens in levels of detail normally only available with the use of microscopes. Using his photo stacking techniques and bespoke camera system, Levon is able to capture unprecedented levels of detail from specimens far too small to view with the naked eye providing us with an insight into an unseen world. The resulting body of work is guaranteed to entertain and educate audiences of all ages.
Throughout its long history, scientists have used the RBGE herbarium collection to help them interpret the diversity of plants and fungi. Crops, poisonous plants, garden plants, medicinal plants, tiny herbs, giant rain-forest trees – all kinds of plants and fungi are represented. Herbaria such as the RBGE act as ‘libraries’ of plant material and are crucial in helping us to determine which plants grow where and how we can differentiate them.