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Grass Identification: The Tribes of Grasses – 4 Triticeae

Dr M now turns his attention to the tribe Triticeae with 6 genera in Britain including the domesticated crop species and their wild relatives wheat (Triticum) and Barley (Hordeum) and Rye (Secale).


Dr M takes eXtreme botany to INTECOL 2013

As part of the centenary celebrations of the British Ecological Society, London hosted the 11th INTECOL Congress entitled “Ecology: Into the next 100 years” from 18-23 August. Dr M is not missing the opportunity to take eXtreme botany to INTECOL to underline the importance of enhancing plant ID skills among ecologists as well as students and the general public at large.


Dog zone grasses!

Urban habitats are many and varied!  Take the area around the base of lamp posts and street trees for example.  These familiar places are somewhat un-picturesquely, though very accurately, described the “dog zone”! This is a great habitat for various weeds which flourish because of what dogs do in the dog zone! One of them is the aptly named grass, Wall Barley (Hordeum murinum),
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Strawberries in the lawn?!

Summer is marked out by strawberry season.  Botanically there are several summer strawberries  to consider!  Here’s three options for starters (though only one of them suitable for desert!).  Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) and Barren Strawberry (Potentilla sterilis) are very closely related species in the Rose family – Rosaceae and look rather similar but can be told apart by the following characters:   Wild Strawberry:
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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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