SpecimensBotanic Garden Meise
The native willows of Belgium:
Many willows (genus Salix) are native to Belgium, but others have been introduced for cultivation. Willows were once very important to society, used for their timber, for firewood, for furniture and basket making. You can still find them all over Belgium and pollarded willows are still an iconic feature of the landscape in western Flanders. Owing to their importance, several species have been introduced for their useful properties and cultivars have been created by crossing different species. Willows hybridize easily and cannot self-pollinate, this is because they have separate male and female plants. Indeed, once a particularly good cultivar has been found, it is often propagated by taking cuttings, therefore particularly good cultivars are often unisexual.
The Belgian Herbarium:
The Botanic Garden Meise holds the largest herbarium collection of Belgian plant specimens. Each of these herbarium specimens has a label with valuable information such as the plant’s identification, and when, where, and who collected the plant. These specimens can be used in many domains of research, such as conservation, evolution, ecology and systematics. These data help us to better understand the plants of Belgium, their history and that of people who collected them. There are about 200,000 specimens in the Belgian Herbarium of the Botanic Garden Meise and we want to document them all! These data will then be made available online at www.botanicalcollections.be.
Belgium, Salicaceae, Arbores, Hortus Botanicus Meise, Botanica.
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