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Dr M weekend plant mini-quiz

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 #5: spider’s plants…

Dr M’s mini-quiz #5 was about the plants used by a spider to support her web? Here they are again: Well the family of the upright monocot (left) was pretty obvious, Juncaceae and the genus Juncus, but which species? You might have wondered Juncus effusus (Soft Rush) but that species has either a lax or compact inflorescence, whilst the plant here has an interrupted
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Dr M’s weekend mini-quiz #5: come into my parlour…

…said the spider to the … spider! And so to celebrate national insect week (ye\h Dr M knows spiders are Arachnids not Insects but…!) Dr M offers these images of a female spider and her husband (aka lunch) on their web abode outside Dr M’s parlour (aka kitchen!) recently. Dr M is particularly fond of spiders, but, however lovely they might be, Arachnida hardly
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Dr M’s weekend mini-quiz #4: eXtreme botany boots!

One of the mysteries of plant ecology is exactly how plants disperse and colonise new areas of land. Now, thanks to Dr M, we can consider this puzzle solved, it’s obvious, they hitch a ride on Dr M’s fieldwork boots! Dr M is particularly fond of seeds, such beautiful, extraordinary and powerful botanical objects. Dr M has posted about seeds before (e.g. here) but
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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 mini-quiz answer #2: the monocot which breaks the rules!

So #2 in Dr M’s weekend mystery plant mini-quiz was a grass-like plant for sure, but without one of the defining feature of the family, a ligule! Check the images here if you want to remind yourself. A grass without a ligule is that possible? Is it really a grass? Yes it is possible (though uncommon), and yes it is a grass! And from the featured
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Dr M’s weekend botany mini-quiz #2: a plant which breaks the rules!

OK it’s nearly the weekend, so to get you in the mini-holiday spirit here is #2 in Dr M’s new botanical mini-quiz series: a plant which breaks the rules! Dr M likes nothing more than a plant which breaks the rules because plants which don’t quite do what we expect challenge us and teach us lots about the importance of things like variation and plasticity in
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Dr M’s mini-quiz answer #1 – and the cute little legume is…

Well you have had some time to ponder this little fellow, and so now here is the answer: Ornithopus perpusillus (Bird’s-foot). This cute little legume is a prostrate hairy annual with stems up to about 30cm long and leaves pinnate with 4-12 pairs of leaflets. Flowers are small creamy and red veined in small heads of 2-6 together with a pinnate bract below the
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