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Grass Identification: The Tribes of Grasses 1 – Poeae

Here is the first of Dr M’s promised grass identification blogs on the Tribes of Grasses and starts with The Poeae because?  Well just because it seems logical, we ARE talking Poaceae after all!  The Poeae is the second largest tribe of British grasses after Aveneae which will be the subject of the next blog in this series. Eleven British genera fall in the
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Some like it hot

This years weather has been varied to say the least!  The coldest spring since 1962 and a wetter than average May was followed by a heat wave which kicked off in July and is currently still with us.  This rather extreme weather has played some interesting games with the plants of our countryside.  The wet May seems to have been great for the grasses
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Getting a grip on grasses – tribes without tribulation!

Dr M continues his focus on Poaceae with a look into the Tribes of grasses.  In his legendary Poaceae song Dr M has already established that the Poaceae is a family of grasses green and wonderful! But notwithstanding this fact, the beginning and even the intermediate botanist often needs some guidance and tips for sorting the genera and species into a framework to help
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Poaceae: what you need to know to ID a grass

Dr M is particularly fond of grasses! Grasses are an important group of plants with more than 10 000 species worldwide. In Britain there are over 150 species of grasses and they are an important component of all habitat types not just grasslands (pastures, meadows), but also woodland, heathland and wetlands. Grasses are important as food for grazing animals. But grasses are also valuable
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Tools of the eXtreme botanist’s trade #2: the quadrat

Dr M has released his latest eXtreme botany video, this time it is “eXtreme botany – Master Quadrat”.  Here Dr M is joined by John Torode and Greg Wallace and the man who polishes the glasses to bring you all you ever wanted to know about the quadrat but were afraid to ask! That’s seriously unctious, that’s Yummy! As Dr M says, there is
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Tools of the eXtreme botanist’s trade #1: the hand lens

Dr M has been asked by his public to make a video about the hand lens – surely the main tool of the botanists trade, certainly for the field botanist.


Dr M’s brand new plant identification video quiz launched!

eXtreme botany is growing all the time!  The first in a projected series of plant identification videos is now in the video section of drmgoeswild.com! This botanical adventure kicks off at a lovely streamside location in South Wales, May 2013. Dr M’s idea is to make short videos showing the plants in situ and giving clues over a couple of minutes of video and
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eXtreme botany at the University of Reading Bioblitz!

What is a Bioblitz?  A ‘BioBlitz’ is a large scale event run over 24 hours where people come together to identify as many species as possible. Where is this Bioblitz?  At University of Reading we are bringing together scientists, naturalists, local community groups, students and the public to learn about the amazing biodiversity on the glorious, green and prize-winning Whiteknights campus. When is this
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Liking lichens…

“Lichens? They are just wannabe plants!” as one of my past botany students put it – she didn’t like them very much!  Well I suppose there is some truth in this.  Lichens are a curious combination of an alga (a group of plants which includes the seaweeds) and a fungus (not a plant – in fact fungi (e.g.mushrooms and toadstools) are closer, in evolutionary
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Meadow Foxtail has all the anthers…

Meadow Foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis) on the University of Reading campus is now looking splendid with a myriad anthers protruding from the spikelets (the grass flowers) in this characteristic spike-like inflorescence.  In the previous Foxtail post Dr M promised to explain more about the diverse types of grass inflorescence, all of which are variations on what, in botanical terms, is known as a panicle, it’s
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