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Dr M’s Marvellous Mosses: Introduction

Dr M is particularly fond of bryophytes and the following described two days spent with his students on the MSc Plant Diversity and MSc SISS at University of Reading getting to know these wonderful little green things intimately!


class-of-2016

Dr M welcomes a new MSc student cohort to the joys of botany!

Dr M says: It’s that time of year again! Last year’s University of Reading MSc Plant Diversity students (class of 2016 pictured above) are just about finishing their dissertations and we are already wishing them well as they get ready to move on to botanical pastures new, while the class of 2017 are soon to be on their way to Reading for a new exciting
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sunbathing crab spider

Arachnoid choreography live and kicking in Dr M’s garden!

Dr M went all entomological this weekend filming this dramatic real time choreography from a garden arachnid. This beautiful Crab Spider has recently made its home in Dr M’s wild betony patch, a surprising choice of home since the vivid purple blooms contrast dramatically with the yellow of the spider! Normally, so Dr M understands, this spider selects more concealing blooms, however it seems quite
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yellow clover types slide

Do you know your yellow clovers?

So you’re walking through the grass and at the edge, where it’s all trampled, there’s this yellow clover, or is it, and is it only one? Well in Britain we have at least four common yellow flowered small to medium clover-like plants. Although they all have trifoliate leaves (three leaflets) they are not called clover, at least the commonest common names are not clover
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sunflower slide1

Come into the garden!

As the UK heatwave continues Dr M says why not let botany cool you down, come in the garden, your garden, any garden! Dr M’s own garden is very much enjoying the sunny weather on the whole and his sunflower certainly appreciates the currently abundant morning noon and evening sunshine! Dr M says: The English summer is well known for its transience and so enjoy it
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answers

Dr M’s 52% leaves quiz – the result!

Did you have a go at Dr M’s antidote to Brexit 52% leaves quiz? If not try it out here and come back to check the answers below. Below are the images of the 52 leaves with common names (check the table below for the Latin names and the plant families). Dr M says: How did you do? There is a diverse range of native and non native
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52 leaves 1

Forget Brexit, here is Dr M’s 52% leaves quiz!

OK, so amidst all the hype, the story telling, the agony and the extacy, it’s great to know that we can still rely on plants to pull us through! So in the spirit of Brexit, Dr M offers his 52% leaves quiz, fifty-two of the finest British, European and International leaves for your botanical edification and welcome distraction! These 52 leaves were all found in
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group 2

Gatsby Plant Sciences Summer School 2016

Dr M is the University of Reading mentor for Gatsby Plant Science (part of the Gatsby Plant Science Education Programme at the University of Cambridge) and each year he selects three undergraduate science students on a competitive basis to attend the inspirational and potentially life-changing Gatsby Plants Summer School. The summer school (established by the University of Leeds in 2005) is a unique opportunity for first year BSc
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grasses

Dr M’s common grass quiz – the answers!

Did you have a go at Dr M’s Common Grass Quiz from the University of Reading Harris Garden? If not try it out here and come back to check the answers below. Below are the images of the twelve grass species with common names (click the images for Latin names). Dr M says: how did you do?  Even if you are not yet a grass champion maybe this little
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grasses slide

Dr M’s common grass quiz

It’s no secret that Dr M is raving potty about Poaceae! This time of year (early June) is wondrous for Poaceae (but not hay fever sufferers!) as the vegetative shoots spring into action and come alive with flowering inflorescences bearing those strange yet magical spikelets, there is a freshness and a magic to this Poaceous time for sure! And it’s a great season to start
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