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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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How many Buttercups are there?

In this picture thousands!   But of Buttercup species there are quite a few.  For example, according to the book of Stace, the latest flora of the British Isles, there are 30 species and hybrids of Ranunculus (the Latin name for the Buttercup genus). But there are three very common species which you must learn before you move on to the others!  There is Creeping buttercup
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How eXtreme can botany get?

Pretty eXtreme conifer ID  along the treacherous Chang Kong Cliff Road on the edge of  Huashan mountain, China!  A suitable location for Dr M’s next eXtreme botany video?


eXtreme botanical imagination – Karl Blossfeldt at the Whitechapel Gallery

  Not only then, in the world of art, but equally in the realm of science, Nature is our best teacher.”  Karl Blossfeldt “Wundergarten der Natur” (1932). Dr M is never one to let botanical imagination pass by… so check out the Karl Blossfeldt exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London.


Poaceous Postcard from the Peninsula

Mid May 2013, and during Dr M’s annual botanical field trip to the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, we found over 300 different plant species during the week! Many plant families delighted us but we made a bit of a special study of Poaceae and, although we didn’t find every genus from Dr M’s legendary Poaceae song, we certainly found a decent number!