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Books

Dr M discovers Gerard’s herbal – in Reading’s Oxfam bookshop!

Dr M’s favourite place in Reading is the Oxfam music shop in the Town centre where you can find, amongst others, second hand CDs, vinyls and sheet music aplenty. A visit this sunny saturday yielded nothing especially tempting and so Dr M journeyed across the road to the Oxfam bookshop were he was intrigued by a copy of Gerard’s herbal in the glass cabinet reserved
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Botany books: Dr M’s late stocking fillers!

OK, Christmas stockings have been well and truly emptied now, so Dr M browses the library shelves for New Year botany gifts. If it’s plant ID books you are looking for then check Dr M’s review here. If its botany of the more literary and philosophical variety then read on! First up is “From Roots to Riches” the book of the landmark BBC radio
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Vivir Inky Leaves en Espana – the update!

Dr M is delighted to provide this update on the activities of botanical artist Inky Leaves, aka Jessica Shepherd. Since her botanical selfie for Dr M in July 2014, she has moved from the UK to take up residence – and a new studio – in sunny Spain (sorry linguists and Españophiles, WordPress doesn’t allow the proper Spanish ñ in the title field!). Over to Inky:
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Dr M to test botanical Apps at BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting, Leicester

It seems only a moment ago Dr M was deleting his talk at the last Annual Exhibition Meeting of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (Natural History Museum, London 2013 – and if you missed it, he retrieved it and you can revisit it here and here). But now it’s all botanical stations go once more, and Saturday will see the 2014 BSBI AEM, this
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Tools of the eXtreme botanists trade: Dr M introduces the Book of Stace (#1 of 3)

As a young botany student at Bangor University in the 1970s, Dr M was brought up on the Flora of the British Isles widely and affectionately known as “CTW” amongst the botanical community (published in 1962 by A.R. Clapham, T.G. Tutin & E.F. Warburg). Dr M always retains great affection for that beautifully produced greenish volume which went through three editions before being superseded by New
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Niki Simpson on botanical illustration for the 21st century…

Dr M first discovered Niki Simpson’s work while admiring the colour illustrations in the Vegetative Key. The clarity and accuracy of the illustrations seemed to reach a new level and it was only a shame that there were not more in that volume!   Meeting her unexpectedly at a botanical illustration event in London recently, Dr M was determined to learn more about her approach
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“You’re not a botanist until you’ve made friends with the veg key!”

So says one of Dr M’s MSc Plant Diversity students, and, well she’s right of course! It is fast becoming a key tool of the eXtreme botanists trade.


There’s an app for that? technology for UK tree ID

Dr M will be meeting his new University of Reading MSc Plant Diversity and MSc Species Identification and Survey Skills (SISS) students for his first big teach-in on Thursday.


Dr M says “hello and goodbye” to MSc Plant Diversity students…

Dr M says: It’s that time of year again! Last year’s University of Reading MSc Plant Diversity students (class of 2014 pictured above) are just about finishing their dissertations and ready to move on to botanical pastures new, while the class of 2015 are soon to be on their way to Reading for a new exciting and, if Dr M has anything to do with
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A tale of two willows

The Willow family – Salicaceae – includes two main genera – Willows and the Poplars – a family of deciduous trees and shrubs with (usually) simple, alternate leaves with stipules. The flowers are in catkins and there is no perianth (i.e. no obvious petals or sepals). There are 2 carpels and the fruit is a one-celled capsule which bursts to release the many silky
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