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Those elusive yellow composites!

We’ve all been there, gently identifying plants in the lawn and behold, a yellow Dandelion-like plant! The thought processes go something like this: Behold a yellow Dandelion-like plant. But IS it a Dandelion?  Perhaps it’s a Sow Thistle?  Or maybe a Hawkbit? Or do I mean a Hawk’s-beard? Oh no! is it a Cat’s-ear? Arrrgh! Perish the thought, could it be a Hawkweed?! There are
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Grass Identification: The Tribes of Grasses – 6 Meliceae

A small tribe with two genera – Melica and Glyceria – in Britain.


The top 30 vascular plant species in Britain?

Which are the commonest species in Britain? The answer to Dr M’s question depends on what Dr M means by “common” and what Dr M means by “Britain“!


Test Tube Trees!

  Dr M continues his quest for botanical videos… This time Dr M has come across the Test Tube videos which includes a series about trees in Britain by Markus Eichhorn a botanist from Nottingham University.


Dr M’s Top Twenty Flowering Plant Families: Ranunculaceae

The Ranunculaceae takes its name from Rana (the latin name for the frog) due to the aquatic nature of many Ranunculaceae, e.g. The Spearworts (Ranunculus lingua and R.flammula), the Water-crowfoots (Ranunculus spp.), Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris).  But there are also terrestrial species such as Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa), Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris), the climber Old Man’s Beard (Clematis vitalba) and the Hellebores (Helleborus spp.). Ranunculaceae are
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Dr M’s Top Twenty Flowering Plant Families: Juncaceae

Juncaceae is the rush family, in Britain most commonly represented by Juncus (True Rushes) and Luzula (Wood Rushes). The common name “Rush” has been used for many unrelated plants of wet places with stiff, upright stems or leaves, such as  Sweet Rush (Acorus, Acoraceae), Flowering Rush (Butomus), Scouring Rush (Equisetum, Equisetaceae the Horsetails!) and Bullrush (Typha spp., Typhaceae) also the name Bullrush has been
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Dr M’s Top Twenty Flowering Plant Families: Rosaceae

“A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.  If we delve into this phrase, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it is saying more important is what something IS not what it is named! A bit of a snub to taxonomy really but we can cope!  


What makes a good botany video?

If you have read Dr M’s eXtreme botany manifesto you will know that Dr M is an advocate of video as a medium for teaching botany, for example learning species identification. Dr M is discussing these issues at INTECOL in London today and in September at the Enhancing Fieldwork Learning Showcase Event.


Dr M’s Top Twenty Flowering Plant Families: Cyperaceae

And so Dr M has at last arrived at the Cyperaceae, not that he has been avoiding it, Dr M finds the Cyperaceae a very fascinating family indeed.  It is just that Dr M has been rather preoccupied with the Poaceae recently.  This post redresses the balance ever so slightly and in the future Dr M will post more and more on sedges and
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Botany videos: how can you tell different kinds of monocot?

Dr M is warming up for the INTECOL Conference in London this week where he will be discussing using video for plant ID. In preparation, Dr M has been perusing botany videos on the Internet for quantity and quality and here Molly Marquand (seen here previously on New England Asteraceae) explains about different kinds of monocot. Check out NewEnglandWild for more videos on monocots and other plants.