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Dr M’s uneXpected eXtreme botanists #1: Shakespeare

Dr M’s occasional series highlights personages well known for various remarkable feats but whose eXtreme botanical skills are not so well known! Number 1 in this series is Shakespeare, the Immortal Bard, famous for his poetry and plays but less so for his botanical skills!  

Grass Identification: The Tribes of Grasses – 8 Arundineae

A small and, according to Cope & Gray (2009), controversial tribe with one very useful character – the ligule is not membranous but is a fringe of hairs. Several other tribes also have this, e.g. Cynodonteae which includes the salt marsh grasses Spartina, but Arundineae is the main tribe of native British grasses with this type of ligule. The inflorescence is a panicle, (large
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eXtreme botany: beautiful cow munching grass, but can you hear which grass?

eXtreme botany reaches new heights… …as Dr M and his colleague identify a grassland to National Vegetation Classification (NVC) community by listening to the munching sounds made by a grazing cow! Amazed? Amused? You might be!    

Tools of the eXtreme botanists trade #3: Plant identification guides

The Natural History Bookstore (NHBS) tells Dr M there is a  new flora on the block called Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland

Common British Plants: the top 30 vascular plant species – Poaceae

Which are the commonest plant species in Britain? Recently Dr M has investigated the 30 most common British plant species based on data in the New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora and the Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. The top 30 include species from 10 plant families including nine of the top twenty plant families. The 30 commonest species includes eight species
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The Tribes of grasses 7: Nardeae

Cope & Gray (2009) refer to Nardeae as “an odd little tribe whose unusual spikelets give no clue as to its origin or affinities”.

Grass Identification: The Tribes of Grasses – 6 Meliceae

A small tribe with two genera – Melica and Glyceria – in Britain.

The top 30 vascular plant species in Britain?

Which are the commonest species in Britain? The answer to Dr M’s question depends on what Dr M means by “common” and what Dr M means by “Britain“!

Dr M’s Top Twenty Flowering Plant Families: Poaceae

The Devil has the best tunes but the Poaceae surely has all the best words – LIGULE, AURICLE, GLUME, SPIKELET and LODICULE!

Dr M’s Top 20 flowering plant families in Britain – a resume

Dr M’s series of posts on the Top 20 families of flowering plants kicked off with the three largest families globally: Asteraceae, Orchidaceae and Fabaceae.