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Back Garden Biology

2 April 2020

Dr Lindsay Turnbull, Associate Professor and Fellow in Plant Sciences, has started a fun and informative new series of videos, looking at the biology of her back garden.

The free series is available on the Queen's YouTube channel and the first episode – ‘Sex and the single primrose’ – has just been released. Primroses and cowslips can be found in many UK gardens and parks. Their yellow flowers are certainly beautiful, but they also hold a secret: they come in two different types that can only mate with each other. In this episode Lindsay takes a close look at several flowers – including a daffodil and a tulip – to explain what is inside, before considering why plants bother to have sex at all.

Lindsay’s engaging series encourages viewers to look around for similar plants in their own gardens where possible, while our movement is restricted to limit the spread of coronavirus. She is planning to make around one episode a week until the end of Trinity term.

‘Next week’s episode will be about how some things in the garden are not what they seem,’ said Lindsay. ‘The amazing lungwort has flowers that change colour, partly as a way to deceive pollinators. Plus we meet the bee-fly, which looks like a bee, but has sinister intent.’