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From Birkenhead to Basra

Sunday 12 March 2017 14:30 - Sunday 12 March 2017 16:00

Discover the importance of a plant hunting expedition to Syria and Iraq carried out on two paddle boat steamers built in Birkenhead by Lairds.

In 1834 an expedition led by Colonel Francis Chesney set out to sail down the river Euphrates from Turkey to the Persian Gulf.  The expedition's naturalist Jan Helfer made a large collection of plants from Syria and Iraq, including many new species. Many of the plants collected were pressed and stored in the herbarium at Kew. These collections are now being re-examined as part of the Flora of Iraq project.

The publication of The Flora of Iraq, as a definite guide to the plants of the area was halted in 1985 with a change of government in Iraq.  During 2011, facilitated by the new Iraq government, it has been possible to restart the project. The Flora when finished will cover over 3300 species of plants and fill a gap in the present knowledge of the biodiversity of this important region.

About the speaker: John Edmondson is a botanical historian & the former head of Science at Liverpool World Museum.


Who is it suitable for?


What does it cost?

Nothing - its free.

Do I need to book?

No - just turn up on the day


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Organised By the Friends of Ness Gardens



Venue Details

Lecture Theatre