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Dicots

White flowered trees in the hedgerow 3: The Elder Tree (Sambucus nigra)

Earlier this year Dr M wrote posts on two beautiful white flowered shrubs or small trees common in the British countryside and which tend to bloom in sequence from spring into summer.  Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) starts in April, followed by Hawthorn (Crategus monogyna – flowering in May. The final plant in this trio is Elder (Sambucus nigra) usually flowering from June into July, but
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White flowered trees in the hedgerow 2: The May Tree! (Crataegus monogyna)

Earlier this year Dr M wrote a post on the beautiful Blackthorn, Prunus spinosa one of the several white flowered shrubs native to Britain which tend to bloom in sequence from spring into summer.  Blackthorn usually kicks off the year being at its best in April, the clear white flowers of Hawthorn usually follow in May (indeed ‘May’ is one of the common names
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White flowered trees in the hedgerow 1: Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)

A real favourite of Dr M, and a sure sign that spring is with us, is Blackthorn, Prunus spinosa.  Its pure white blossoms emerge before the leaves and so are set against the very dark, leafless, spiny twigs, surely one of nature’s simplest, coolest and mouth watering colour combinations.


Dr M’s autumn botany class: lovely bit of Asteraceae on campus

Dr M’s second botany lesson for his MSc Plant Diversity and MSc SISS students was all about getting to know the top-twenty plant families in Britain. Students divided themselves into smaller groups and set out to different parts of the University of Reading campus to collect material of flowering plants and to bring them back to the lab.


Dr M’s botany class homework – a key to common plant families

Dr M has set his students some homework. Having already started to look at the top-twenty plant families this term, Dr M has asked his students to construct a key to the top fourteen families of dicotyledons (broad-leaved flowering plants).


Dr M’s mini-quiz from Maiden Castle: the answers part 1…

It’s one thing to rampage the ramparts and scale the slopes of Maiden Castle, but have you survived Dr M’s chalk grassland mini-quiz?


Dr M’s weekend mini-quiz from the ramparts of Maiden Castle in Dorset!

Dr M was in Dorset recently and took the opportunity to visit one of the largest and most complex of Iron Age hillforts in Europe, Maiden Castle, whose huge multiple ramparts once protected several hundred residents. It’s an old, old site and excavations famously carried out in the 1930s and 1980s revealed the site’s 4,000-year history, from a Neolithic causewayed enclosure to a small Roman
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Dr M’s mini-quiz answer #3: the mystery wet weekend plant!

OK, the soggy Bank Holiday Monday is over and now we are into a soggy week at work! You’ve had plenty of sodden hours to contemplate this plant so here’s the low down: The mystery plant is in the family Amaranthaceae which includes three genera. (1) Chenopodium which is a genus of annual herbs with grooved, often striped stems and leaves which are often mealy
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Dr M’s botanical mini-quiz #3: something for a wet Bank Holiday Monday!

OK it’s a wet soggy Bank Holiday Monday (as usual!) so why not dry yourself off and warm yourself up with Dr M’s mystery plant mini-quiz #3! This is a plant doing rather well in Dr M’s Mum’s garden in the Wye Valley near Chepstow at the moment. Can you get family? genus? species? Close-up image coming a bit later!


Dr M’s weekend mystery plant mini-quiz #1 – cute little legume!

It’s the weekend and Dr M is just back from eXtreme botany European Tour 2014 and has got a touch behind with posting on drmgoeswild so a good time to launch a new series. Dr M’s weekend mystery plants is a mini-quiz posting a mystery plant for you to ID then in a few days comes the answer and some botanical info for your
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