Two of Dr M’s students, Christine and Waheed, came up with a devilishly eXtreme botanical challenge to test different aspects of the botanists’ ID skills at the BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting on Saturday 23rd November at the Natural History Museum, London!
Entitled ‘Seeds, fruits and flowers’ delegates had to match the 15 different types of seed with images of the same 15 species, hand lenses and magnifying glasses were provided but no other ID aids were allowed, this was eXtreme botany after all!
Christine, who devised the challenge, told Dr M: “we got a lot of positive reactions, it was fun and a nice experience, especially because the people enjoyed the unusual little botany challenge we gave them, but also because we could conjure surprised smiles on the faces of many experienced botanists, while looking at the beautiful surface structures of the seeds, equipped with a hand lens!”
Waheed adds: “This was an unusual challenge because people don’t necessarily see the seeds of some of the flora!” and “it proved eXtremely popular, to both eXperts and beginners alike: with the eXperts really getting to the nitty-gritty of the various propagules, while beginners botanical skills benefited from ID’ing the images to family.”
Christine concludes: “the quiz was a starting point (a hook) for some exciting discussions with very fascinating and interesting people. I haven’t known BSBI before, so the event was very interesting for me to see a little bit inside this organisation.”
Check Dr M’s video of the eXtreme seed challenge in action…