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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) all common in the British countryside and which tend to bloom in sequence from spring into summer.  Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) starts the flowering sequence in April, followed by Hawthorn (Crategus monogyna – usually flowering in May, but more like June this year as Spring was so late coming)
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White flowered trees in the hedgerow 2: The May (or June?) 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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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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Botanical postcard from Romania

Dr M is busy surveying in Romania north of Constanta on the Black Sea coast, nice work if you can get it, although the swarms of ferocious Mosquitoes are something else!  The vegetation I have been surveying includes coastal sand dunes, marshes and steppe grasslands. From my botanising, I find that the plant families are generally familiar here (loads of Asteraceae and Brassicaceae for
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So what exactly is eXtreme botany?

By any reckoning 2013 has been a phenomenal year for Dr M.  2013 is the year when Dr M finally and Officially “Went Wild”.  2013 is also the year that Dr M invented “eXtreme botany”, thereby ensuring that botany will never quite be the same again. Despite its undoubted and growing prominence in the cultural life of Britain, occasionally, very occasionally, Dr M gets
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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.


Spring Whitlow Grass

One of the first botanical signs of Spring is the aptly named Spring Whitlow Grass  (Erophila verna) (except it is NOT a grass, not even remotely!).  It’s a very common plant in urban habitats such as pavements, the base of walls and bare disturbed ground but it can be so tiny you might miss it!  Get up close and you meet a very pretty
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