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Plants

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!).


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!?