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Mission to an almost unknown planet – why plant identification is vital to life on Earth

Dr M is researching for an article about communicating the importance and excitement of plants to young people and he came across a series of open-access lectures on the Gatsby Plant Sciences Summer School website.

Dr M’s Glimpses of Great Botanists: E.J.H. Corner on the Leguminosae

Dr M loves it when this happens! Stumbling upon some writing which leaves him speechless, thinking: “Oh my! What eXtreme creative botanical mind was at work there?”

You say Poaceae, I say Poaceae…

Dr M is relaxing for the festive season and offers this morsel from his table of festive botanical fare for your delight and delectation! It is never ceases to amaze Dr M what you can find on the internet these days. For example this very short scrap of a video on YouTube which demonstrates how to pronounce the word Poaceae!

Ethnobotanist on a rope: eXtreme Malagasy orchidology for Boxing day!

Dr M’s occasional series of guest blogs continues this Boxing Day with ethnobotanist Susanne Masters on seeking orchids in Madagascar – the hard way…

Dr M’s World eXclusive botanical party game: eXtreme Carpology!

‘Tis the season for jolly party games and Dr M is proud to present the World eXclusive botanical party game: eXtreme Carpology: seeds, fruits and flowers! Created for the BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting in November 2013 by Christine and Waheed, two of Dr M’s Plant Diversity MSc students at University of Reading.

Dr M’s last minute Christmas shopping!

Dr M thought it about time he went Christmas shopping. At least that was his plan! But it was absolutely shocking! You see, Dr M is very much out of his comfort zone in the town, there is so little Poaceae around for a start! OK a sprig of Poa annua here and there, but that apart, almost nothing for ages! And certainly not worth going into the Mall,
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Dr M says: Let it Snow(aceae!)

A frost in Reading this morning but no snow, and seasonally it still feels very much like autumn rather than winter. Coupled with this, all the forecasts suggest it will be too mild for snow in England and South Wales where Dr M will be this Christmas period. But wouldn’t it be nice to see some snow, just a little, to get us into
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Dr M reviews five plant ID guides

Dr M has previously posted reviews of the two indispensable eXtreme botanical books: the veg key and the book of Stace. The eXtreme botanist just cannot be without these on their shelves. But also important are the illustrated plant ID guides to supplement the advanced ID books. You need to be able to check determinations against descriptions of the plant in the floras but also
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The top 30 British vascular plant species – how do you do?

Can you recognise the commonest plant species in Britain? Dr M has previously posted the 30 most common British plant species based on data in the New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora and the Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora.

Moss (and Lichen) in Nature photo competition

Dr M is particularly fond of mosses and was delighted to find on the British Bryological Society Facebook page a link to this Moss in Nature Competition from Digital Photography Review.