Vasculum, ‘little vessel’, a small case made of tin that botanists took out to the field for carrying freshly collected specimens. This one in the RBGE herbarium is cylinder-shaped, with a long lid opening on one side. It holds 36 different types of grasses tied with name-tags showing habitats and soil types, and 60 glass bottles containing examples of seeds. A sales kit for the seeds supplier.
for all best pastures, sheep pastures, lawns and pleasure grounds
for pastures, lawns or parks overshadowed by trees
for moist places under trees, valuable for 3 or 4 year’s ley
a mischievous weed in corn crops
inferior grass, usurping place of better sorts
Alopecurus geniculatus… USELESS
‘I shouldered my tin vasculum, and went ashore.’ 1887 J Ball, Naturalist in South America, 128.
photograph: Sutton’s Vasculum circa 1900, RBGE Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Farmer Erlend Wood, Berridale Farm, South Ronaldsay, Orkney, August