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Plants

Up the Malus and Pyrus and down the Prunus?

Malus and Pyrus is Dr M’s eXtreme botanical rhyming slang for “going upstairs” – up the the good old apples and pears! More of that later!


On hearing the first cuckoo of spring – and spying that first bit of skirt…

According to Ian Skelly on BBC Radio 3, Dr M’s radio channel of choice, the 15th of April seems to be a reliable date for hearing the first cuckoo of spring (in Dorset at least!), though not many get to actually see these extraordinary and rather elusive birds.


An eXtreme Botanical Corker!

Dr M was today totally bowled over and utterly charmed by a truly massive Cork Oak (Quercus suber) at Standish Hospital, in Gloucestershire.


Dr M meets a great 18th century polymath and botanist, but who is he?

During the 71 years of my highly productive lifetime I: Said “A fool you know, is a man who never tried an experiment in his life”


That was Cherry blossom time, that was!

Dr M says: So what’s your favourite Cherry blossom? Dr M is particularly fond of the purest white blossoms of the native Prunus spinosus (Blackthorn) but he’s a sucker for most cherry blossom. There’s something about cherry blossom time; first there’s winter, greyness, rain, greyness again, possibly snow and ice and certainly cold! And then somethings says “let there be Prunus” AND THERE IS PRUNUS!
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Dr M on the road: eXtreme botany through the car window!

With Bank Holiday travels (and traffic jams!) in prospect Dr M says: Let’s play that classic travel game “eXtreme botany through the car window!”


Can you tell your Dipsacus from your Helminthotheca?

Dr M has been reminded in his recent field surveys of two similar (but different!) rosette plants of disturbed ground, both with rough, blistery-bristly leaves and often found growing together, but which can be confused by the beginning botanist – even though they are from rather different families. So how to tell them apart?


Dr M discovers May in mid-April!

A classic spring plant is the beautiful May tree, Crataegus monogyna, (also known as Hawthorn of course) by who’s flowering we know the season must be springtime, the only pretty ring time! even, mayhaps, the first signs that Sumer Is Icumen In!?


Dr M’s pink, blue and purple flower quiz – the answers

As part of Dr M’s “are you getting enough botany?” campaign, Dr M has posted the third of his spring plant ID quizzes, the pink, blue and purple flower quiz.


Dr M’s pink, blue and purple flower plant ID quiz

Dr M asks: Are you getting enough eXtreme botany? As part of Dr M’s  “are you getting enough botany?” campaign, here is the third spring plant ID quiz; the pink, blue and purple flower quiz.