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Field botany

Dr M takes a big pea on the roadside…

This rather magnificent member of the Pea family – Fabaceae – is very conspicuous on roadsides and waste ground around Reading and much further afield at the moment.

To be Cotoneaster or not Cotoneaster? That is the question…?

Cotoneaster is a diverse genus of shrubs and small trees in the family Rosaceae and much beloved of gardeners (but less so by  British conservationists see below!).

Dr M’s field day diary #5 – If you go down to the woods today…

Day 5: If you go down to the woods today be sure of a big… swarm of biting insects, well if you will go to a wet woodland on a sultry humid day!

Dr M’s field day diary #3 – eXtreme botany in the water!

This week Dr M has been taking his MSc students on a series of field days, visiting a range of sites and habitats. Here is the third post from Dr M’s field day diary: Day 3: Botany at historical Runnymede

Dr M’s field day diary #2 – eXtreme botanists on the bog!

This week Dr M has been taking his MSc students on a week of field days, visiting a range of sites and habitats not too far from Reading. Here is the second post from Dr M’s field day diary: Day 2: Student botanists on the bog at Wildmoor Heath, Berkshire.

It’s official: Associate Professor Dr M Goes Wild!

A few weeks back Dr M had a phone call from the Dean of Life Science with the informal announcement (perhaps you caught it on Twitter!), but now the formal letter has arrived declaring that Dr M is now officially Associate Professor of Field Botany!

Dr M’s Lizard Diary: the party’s over but the botanical memories live on!

The final verdict: A week at the Lizard is just not enough! Dr M and his students have seen beautiful landscapes, fascinating vegetation and lovely plants both common and rare. And, naturally, being a Dr M field course, much fun has been had along the way! Dr M’s three final Lizard Diary entries are galleries of images of plants and people and fun, and
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We’re off to see the Lizard! The wonderful Lizard…

Yes, Dr M and his Reading MSc Plant Diversity students are following the Yellow Brick Road in search of the Emerald City!

Another of those damned elusive yellow compositae!

Dr M has already posted (here) on those conspicuous and characteristic yellow dandelion-like plants which we see all around, especially in grassland and on waste ground and which, despite their superficial resemblance to Dandelions (Taraxacum sp), actually include a number of related genera.

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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