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Trees

Spring is: more than 50 shades of green!

Did you notice this last weekend (mid April) was the first real sign that the countryside is awakening from its winter slumbers and the trees are coming into glorious leaf? Certainly Dr M saw that it was so in and around Reading and across into Wales. That transition – from the starkly beautiful bare twigs on tree and hedge to the emerging haze green
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Oliver Rackham: historical ecologist extraordinaire 1939-2015

Corpus Christi College Cambridge report with great sadness the death of Oliver Rackham OBE MA PhD FBA, on 12 February 2015, aged 75 years. Professor of Historical Ecology, Botanist, Master of the College 2007-8, Fellow of the College 1964-2007 and 2008-2010, Honorary Fellow 2008-2015 and Life Fellow 2010-2015, Oliver Rackham was an extraordinary man and an extraordinary academic. Oliver Rackham studied and wrote with great
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Baffled Botanists Bar-coding Borneo

Dr M is delighted to congratulate John Warren on his very recent promotion to a Chair in Botany at Aberystwyth University and to welcome him back here to present this guest blog on 21st century botany, it’s not all long beards, khaki shorts and Cyclanthaceous pith helmets…


Dr M’s Autumn Term botany class #1: Of apps and keys and trees and shrubs

Dr M’s first lesson with MSc Plant Diversity students and MSc SISS included a tour round the woodland known as the Wilderness on the University of Reading award-winning green campus.


Biome-ic Woman: In tropical Eden with Lucy Wenger

Botanical theme parks don’t come along every day and so the Eden project has carved a special niche for plant lovers everywhere. Without plants our world is no world and there are few better place to see this message in action than at Eden.


National Trust’s 50 things to do outside with the kids – let’s have more eXtreme botany?!

The National Trust has gone crazy wild about getting the nation’s kids outside at the weekend so they’ve put together a list of 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ along with the 50 place finder to locate great places to do them, woods, fields, hills, caves, ponds and streams! They want to encourage kids to get mucky, discover their wild side and get closer to
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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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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!


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.