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eXtreme botany goes to town!

Yes, Dr M headed into London Town for the Annual Exhibition Meeting of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland on Saturday 23rd November at the Natural History Museum.

Dr M was there with his eXtreme botany manifesto, and with some of his current students who prepared an eXtreme botanical challenge for the delegates!

What is eXtreme botany? 

    • eXtreme botany is all about enhancing your plant ID skills to the next level
    • eXtreme botany shows how exciting plants are and how fun field botany can be
    • eXtreme botany gives people the tools they need to become extremely knowledgeable about plants
    • eXtreme botany means that to get to an expert level you need to identify plants under extremely challenging conditions, but this is also where the real excitement is – mastering the botanical extremities!
    • eXtreme botany includes the use of video for plant ID.
    • eXtreme botany is also giving other teachers the skills they need to teach plant identification.

What are eXtreme botanical challenges?

eXtreme botanical challenges are botanical conundrums, problematic plantitudes and botanical brain-teasers.

They may be challenging but they all have a solution, providing you use the finely honed skills of eXtreme botany (or just your good old plain botanical skills, eXtreme botany is botany when all is said and done!).

eXtreme botanical challenges might be a tiny piece of plant, a single leaf perhaps, or maybe a photograph of a plant or plant part, taken from an odd angle, perhaps a single seed or fruit, or something else entirely…Dr M et al. have some ideas up their botanical sleeves!

Here’s one eXtreme botanical challenge to get you started: when trying to ID a plant from a single leaf  it can be useful to hold it to up to the light (HTL), here is a common grassland plant in HTL mode, what is it ?

extreme botany challenge 1


 Difficulty: Moderate

Answer: To be revealed at Dr M’s eXtreme botany stand at the BSBI AEM, be there or be … just be there!



  • Louise Marsh

    Plantitudes? Plantitudes? Dr M, I think at the AEM, you and I will also be having the Battle of the Bad Pun – we use some real groaners on our Botany for Beginners course, eg for Phleum: what would you do if those “little devils” (see their horns?) were marching towards you in a meadow – would you Alopecurus or would you… Beginners may howl but it will help them remember how to separate those grasses

  • DrM

    I blame late night posting for the puns! I ll try and finish my new grass ID video “Node to Joy” in time for Saturday, it has a sound track from Beethoven’s 9th! 😉

  • Louise Marsh

    Well you are, after all, the very model of a modern Agrostologist… but Node to Joy is a bit much even for me!

  • Louise Marsh

    See I didn’t say Node Ice! Getting better, taking the meds…

  • Louise Marsh

    I was feeling a bit glume-y as one of the speakers at the AEM has flu and cancelled. But Dr M is riding into town on his white charger, brandishing an eXtreme botany manifesto and a… wait, what is that grass he’s clutching? Could it be… node, culm along on Saturday if you want the answer.

    LM sits back and waits for Dr M to devise a pun about lodicules – or would that just be lodiculous?

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