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How many species of Bryophytes are there in Britain?

Dr M has previously posted about the number of vascular plants in Britain.  In addition to vascular plants are the so-called lower plants or cryptogams including the Mosses, Liverworts and Algae.


eXtreme botany: Dr M’s Manifesto

Since its launch earlier this year, eXtreme botany has created more than a few ripples in the global botanical community.  Here, exclusively and for the first time Dr M explains what eXtreme botany means to him and what it could mean to you…


Whiteknights BioBlitz 2013: The Movie!

Back in June Dr M posted about the University of Reading Whiteknights BioBitz,  a large scale biodiversity event which ran between 7th-8th June 2013. During this 24 hour period a wide range of people got together to identify as many plant and animal species as they could on the prize-winning University of Reading Whiteknights campus.


Grass Identification: The Tribes of grasses 3 – Bromeae

After posting the two large tribes (Poeae and Aveneae) Dr M is pleased to post this smaller (but perfectly proportioned) tribe Bromeae, the Brome grasses! The Brome grasses are extremely beautiful grasses with rather characteristic oval and awned spikelets, though the main Bromeae genus, Bromus, is rather close to Festuca, read on! The inflorescence is a panicle with laterally compressed spikelets with several to many
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How many vascular plant species are there in Britain?

  Why not  try to answer this question before reading on!     By “plants” Dr M means green plants (containing chlorophyll) and this includes vascular plants (flowering plants, conifers, ferns, horsetails and clubmosses), bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) and green algae.  NB The Plant Kingdom does NOT include the fungi and lichens. Dr M focuses on vascular plants here and will deal with
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A Taxon for all time!

Dr M wrote this post for Catalogue of Life – Taxon of the Day, sign up to CoL Taxon of the Day in future for details of other favourite plants (Mondays) and animals (other days!). Dr M writes: Poaceae is a wonderful and important vascular plant family, the 5th-largest in the World, after Orchidaceae, Asteraceae, Fabaceae and Rubiaceae.  World-wide, Poaceae is divided into 28 tribes
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Asteraceae ID from New England!

Dr M is pleased to share this  plant ID video about identification of the large plant family Asteraceae starring one of Dr M’s previous Plant Diversity Masters students, Molly Marquand!


More to Brambles than meets the eye (and the taste buds!)

Dr M has been admiring the super-abundance of developing Blackberries (Rubus fruticosus L. agg.) in the hedgerows and it seems that the unusual combination of spring and summer weather has helped provide a bumper crop for the coming weeks!  Have your collecting baskets to hand and don’t miss out on this delicious food for free! The genus (actually sub-genus, see below) Rubus includes a number of
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Where are all the botanists?

Recently Dr M was struck by an article entitled “The Death of Botany” in the “Rant and Reason” section of the June 2013 edition of the magazine of the British Ecological Society.  Dr Markus Eichhorn is a botanist at the University of Nottingham and he is not a happy Dr!  In the article he bemoans the loss of botany degree programmes from our Universities. 
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Dr M’s Favourite YouTube Videos 2: Dr Fred Rumsey’s Botanical Walks

Dr M loves these videos by Dr Fred Rumsey of the Natural History Museum, London! Dr Fred is a great botanist and his expertise and natural enthusiasm is a winning combination in this series of seasonal botanical walks in which he introduces a range of plants from different habitats through the seasons. Very inspirational!