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Monocots

Dr M’s common grass quiz

It’s no secret that Dr M is raving potty about Poaceae! This time of year (early June) is wondrous for Poaceae (but not hay fever sufferers!) as the vegetative shoots spring into action and come alive with flowering inflorescences bearing those strange yet magical spikelets, there is a freshness and a magic to this Poaceous time for sure! And it’s a great season to start
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Learn sedge ID with Dr M at SLBI London – 18th October 2015!

OK, Listen up plant lovers and botanophiles alike!  Stuff like this really doesn’t happen that often, I mean, when did you last have a chance to attend a Dr M Botanical  course?  Like never, or at least oh so rarely!  We are talking hen’s teeth, we really are! So, come on down to London town and join the botanical love and joy at Dr M’s
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Dr M’s Poaceae quiz: Part the Second

Dr M says: Your patience is rewarded and here at last is Part the Second of Dr M’s long-awaited Poaceae quiz! Grasses, so the Poaceae song goes, and as Dr M’s students on University of Reading MSc Plant Diversity know well, have “flowers reduced to spikelets strange yet magical”. The grass spikelet is indeed a wondrous thing and has an intrinsic beauty and fascination
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It’s bluebell time, get thee to a bluebell wood!

It’s bluebell time and there is nothing quite like the heady scent and radiant sky-blue vistas of a British bluebell wood in springtime. The UK plant charity Plantlife is currently running a competition to choose the Nation’s Favourite Wildflower.  Britain is home to many beautiful wildflowers so there are plenty to choose from but it’s probably no surprise that so far, the number 1 position
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“Apprentice botanists you’re hired!” botanical selfies continue with PhD candidate Sarah Jose

The Twittersphere is a fine place for meeting and making new botanical friends and this is where Dr M met PhD candidate Sarah Jose from the University of Bristol a while back where he noticed her tweets on plant research news and other botanical and environmental stuff. Sarah sees PhD students as “apprentice researchers” and has this advice to new PhD starters – “Make the most of
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Dr M’s mini-quiz from Maiden Castle: answers part 2 – vegetative ID!

If you arrived here and have not completed Dr M’s Maiden Castle mini-quiz and you would like to, then check it out here! and then the answers here! If you have, well, with Part 1, the easy bit, out of the way, here’s the real eXtreme botany bit: vegetative plant ID and in chalk grassland – one of the most species-rich communities in Britain – to
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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 #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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