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Plants

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 #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.


Dr M’s field day diary #1 – focus on Poaceae

Following the successful field course at the Lizard, Cornwall, Dr M is currently 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 first post from Dr M’s field day diary:


Dr M’s Lizard Diary – Caution: eXtreme botanists at work!

The final verdict: A week at the Lizard is really not enough! Dr M and his students have seen beautiful landscapes, fascinating vegetation and lovely plants both common and rare, and much fun has  been had along the way!


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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eXtreme botany on a plate – with the answers!

From Dr M’s botany field course at the Lizard 2014, here’s Wizard Carter’s Lizard plant ID test on a plate! How many can you do to family? genus? species? Have a go then check the answers below, (taxonomy according to book of Stace): 1. Juncaceae Juncus foliosus (Leafy Rush) 2. Poaceae Glyceria declinata (Small Sweet-grass) 3. Crassulaceae Crassula tillaea (Mossy Stonecrop) 4. Cyperaceae Carex echinata (Star Sedge) 5. Calitrichaceae Callitriche stagnalis (Common Water-starwort) 6.
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Pomeaceous and Poaceous: A Botanical Fairy Tail!

Yes, it’s high time for another first from Dr M: a botanical fairy tail! And why not? Actually, it’s quite a long tail, so make yourself a cup of tea and settle down all comfy-like… …and Dr M will begin:


Boys and girls come out to play!

We’ve had bluebells galore, so about time for some other woodland plants. Dog’s Mercury (Mercurialis perennis) is a member of the Spurge Family (Euphorbiaceae) and as with other members of this family the flowers are dioecious, i.e. there are separate male and female flowers.


On Dr M’s Golden Pond – The Solution!

OK it’s not golden and it’s not a pond! Rather it’s a large water-filled plastic flower pot stuffed with aquatic plants! But recently Dr M posted about this “pond”, and despite its diminutive size, there are quite a number of plant species living happily in it at the moment and Dr M presented images of six aquatic plants for your examination and identification.


Do you really know your Prunus from your Malus and Pyrus?

Dr M has already posted on the eXtreme botanical and floral distinctions between three fruit trees currently in beautiful bloom in our parks, gardens and countryside. So here, by way of an eXtreme botanical teaser, is a chance for you to test your knowledge and skill in two easy steps (and one slightly trickier one!).