Getting ready for FoPD: How many plants have you eaten this lunchtime?

As we prepare for Fascination of Plants Day next Thursday 18th May at University of Reading, we ask “how many plants have you used today?”   To get you thinking, here’s a botanical culinary conundrum: How many plants (and derivatives) do you think there are in Dr M’s Chicken curry & rice? You will need to think and hypothesize, they are by no mean all
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Fascination of Plants Day at University of Reading – What do plants do for us?

Did you know it’s “Fascination of Plants Day” (FoPD) on Thursday 18th May? Fascination of Plants Day is the International Day for everyone to celebrate the fascination and beauty of the plant world and the importance of plants in our lives and for the sustainability of the biosphere! 2017 finds the fourth international Fascination of Plants Day launched under the umbrella of the European
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Dr M’s little spring flower quiz – the answers!

Done the quiz? Now here’s the answers and some botanical stories about these lovely spring wild flowers: 1. Blue bell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) – probably the most familiar of these seven. Did you know that Britain is home to about half of the World’s bluebell population? Did you know its sap was used to glue feathers onto arrows in the Middle Ages and to stiffen
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Dr M’s little Spring flower quiz – reprise!

This is a reprise of Dr M’s previous quiz but seems a good time to revisit! Dr M regularly goes wild on the University of Reading award-winning campus, especially now as Spring is bursting out all around with beautiful wild flowers. For a little spring flower test Dr M offers images of seven common wild flowers from the University campus, see how many you
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Daughter of #adventbotany 2016

Dr M says: Can you believe it? #AdventBotany is now entering it’s 3rd year and is the festive botanical one to watch! Indeed it seems only yesterday Dr M was singing the Twelve days of botany and together with his colleague Dr Alastair Culham (@BotanyRNG) invented Advent Botany – 31 inspired nuggets of botanical peace, love and joy posted here and at Culham Research Group and dispersed across the
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Botanical University Challenge 2017!

YOUR STARTER FOR TEN: The first ever Botanical University Challenge took place at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, hosted by James Wong, on 10th March 2016, by all measures it was a great success! Read more about it here. FINGERS ON BUZZERS! Dr M  is now planning BUC 2017 date and venue to be confirmed and he is looking for teams and questions ! YOUR BONUS
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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!


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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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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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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