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Monocots

Dr M’s Top Twenty Flowering Plant Families: Orchidaceae

The second largest flowering plant family in the World with about 18,500 species, and a family needing little introduction being surely the most popular and admired plant family in the World beloved of Orchid fanciers everywhere!


Grass Identification: The Tribes of Grasses – 4 Triticeae

Dr M now turns his attention to the tribe Triticeae with 6 genera in Britain including the domesticated crop species and their wild relatives wheat (Triticum) and Barley (Hordeum) and Rye (Secale).


Grass Identification: The Tribes of grasses 3 – Bromeae

After posting the two large tribes (Poeae and Aveneae) Dr M is pleased to post this smaller (but perfectly proportioned) tribe Bromeae, the Brome grasses! The Brome grasses are extremely beautiful grasses with rather characteristic oval and awned spikelets, though the main Bromeae genus, Bromus, is rather close to Festuca, read on! The inflorescence is a panicle with laterally compressed spikelets with several to many
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A Taxon for all time!

Dr M wrote this post for Catalogue of Life – Taxon of the Day, sign up to CoL Taxon of the Day in future for details of other favourite plants (Mondays) and animals (other days!). Dr M writes: Poaceae is a wonderful and important vascular plant family, the 5th-largest in the World, after Orchidaceae, Asteraceae, Fabaceae and Rubiaceae.  World-wide, Poaceae is divided into 28 tribes
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Grass Identification: The Tribes of Grasses 2 – Aveneae

Here is the second in Dr M’s blog posts on the Tribes of grasses and a bit of a marathon this one, enjoy! The Aveneae is the largest grass tribe in Britain with twenty-two genera. The inflorescence is a branched panicle which may be spike-like, contracted or open. Spikelets have 1-several fertile florets which are laterally compressed. The glumes are persistent and often papery,
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Books for British grass identification: Hubbard’s “Grasses” and the BSBI “Grasses of the British Isles”

Dr M’s favourite and recommended books on grass identification: Dr M’s Agrostological training was honed by the marvellous volume entitled simply  “Grasses” by Charles Hubbard (1954, 1968, 1984). Often affectionately referred to as  “Hubbard“, i.e. “Let’s go and ID some grasses this weekend?”, “Yes! and don’t forget to bring Hubbard!”  Hubbard’s keys were notoriously tough going, there was a key to grasses in flower, even
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The Why and How (and WOW!) of Grass Spikelet Dissection…

Dr M has been posting Poaceae of late.  His series on the Tribes of grasses features details of British grass genera including quite intimate details of the grass spikelet (as the Poaceae song says: the flowers are reduced to spikelets strange yet magical!). But the beginning botanist might find this a touch overwhelming and Dr M can almost hear the cries:  “Dr M! do
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Grass Identification: The Tribes of Grasses 1 – Poeae

Here is the first of Dr M’s promised grass identification blogs on the Tribes of Grasses and starts with The Poeae because?  Well just because it seems logical, we ARE talking Poaceae after all!  The Poeae is the second largest tribe of British grasses after Aveneae which will be the subject of the next blog in this series. Eleven British genera fall in the
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Some like it hot

This years weather has been varied to say the least!  The coldest spring since 1962 and a wetter than average May was followed by a heat wave which kicked off in July and is currently still with us.  This rather extreme weather has played some interesting games with the plants of our countryside.  The wet May seems to have been great for the grasses
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Getting a grip on grasses – tribes without tribulation!

Dr M continues his focus on Poaceae with a look into the Tribes of grasses.  In his legendary Poaceae song Dr M has already established that the Poaceae is a family of grasses green and wonderful! But notwithstanding this fact, the beginning and even the intermediate botanist often needs some guidance and tips for sorting the genera and species into a framework to help
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