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Top 20 plant families

Dr M’s mini-quiz answer #1 – and the cute little legume is…

Well you have had some time to ponder this little fellow, and so now here is the answer: Ornithopus perpusillus (Bird’s-foot). This cute little legume is a prostrate hairy annual with stems up to about 30cm long and leaves pinnate with 4-12 pairs of leaflets. Flowers are small creamy and red veined in small heads of 2-6 together with a pinnate bract below the
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Dr M’s weekend mystery plant mini-quiz #1 – cute little legume!

It’s the weekend and Dr M is just back from eXtreme botany European Tour 2014 and has got a touch behind with posting on drmgoeswild so a good time to launch a new series. Dr M’s weekend mystery plants is a mini-quiz posting a mystery plant for you to ID then in a few days comes the answer and some botanical info for your
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eXtreme botany on the edge: roadside orchids!

Dr M asks: What’s not to love about orchids?  I mean it’s a botanical given, orchids – everyone loves them! OK, Dr M might prefer Poaceae but that’s Dr M for you!

Dr M on the trail of the lonesome Mousetail!

For the field botanist finding a new plant is eXtreme botany indeed. Until recently, Dr M had never seen the rare Mousetail (Myosurus minimus) in the wild. But one day, all this changed, for ever!

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:

We’re off to see the Lizard! The wonderful Lizard…

Yes, Dr M and his Reading MSc Plant Diversity students are following the Yellow Brick Road in search of the Emerald City!

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:

Another of those damned elusive yellow compositae!

Dr M has already posted (here) on those conspicuous and characteristic yellow dandelion-like plants which we see all around, especially in grassland and on waste ground and which, despite their superficial resemblance to Dandelions (Taraxacum sp), actually include a number of related genera.

A tale of two willows

The Willow family – Salicaceae – includes two main genera – Willows and the Poplars – a family of deciduous trees and shrubs with (usually) simple, alternate leaves with stipules. The flowers are in catkins and there is no perianth (i.e. no obvious petals or sepals). There are 2 carpels and the fruit is a one-celled capsule which bursts to release the many silky
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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.