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Dr M’s common grass quiz – the answers!

Did you have a go at Dr M’s Common Grass Quiz from the University of Reading Harris Garden? If not try it out here and come back to check the answers below. Below are the images of the twelve grass species with common names (click the images for Latin names). Dr M says: how did you do?  Even if you are not yet a grass champion maybe this little
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Dr M’s common grass quiz

It’s no secret that Dr M is raving potty about Poaceae! This time of year (early June) is wondrous for Poaceae (but not hay fever sufferers!) as the vegetative shoots spring into action and come alive with flowering inflorescences bearing those strange yet magical spikelets, there is a freshness and a magic to this Poaceous time for sure! And it’s a great season to start
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Dr M’s Poaceae quiz – the answers!

Tried Dr M’s Poaceae quiz?  If not have a go here… then check the answers below… Some common grasses can be ID’d quite easily e.g. Dactylis glomerata (Cock’s-foot) which can often be reliably identified from 100 paces and definitely a species to ID from a moving vehicle at speed! Other grasses can only really be ID’d to genus from a photo and some only
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Dr M’s mini-quiz answer #2: the monocot which breaks the rules!

So #2 in Dr M’s weekend mystery plant mini-quiz was a grass-like plant for sure, but without one of the defining feature of the family, a ligule! Check the images here if you want to remind yourself. A grass without a ligule is that possible? Is it really a grass? Yes it is possible (though uncommon), and yes it is a grass! And from the featured
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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:


Dr M’s Spring term plant ID test: vascular plants

Dr M’s students have returned from the vacation and spent the first week of the new term on the New Year Plant Hunt in which they and Dr M found 38 species in flower on the University of Reading campus! This week Dr M set his students a plant ID test of vascular plants and bryophytes. This was a formative test which is a
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Dr M’s deleted presentation – an eXtreme botanical love story

Even if you were present at Dr M’s presentation at the afternoon talks of the BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting on Saturday 23rd November you will have missed Dr M’s presentation!


Grass Identification: The Tribes of Grasses – 5 Brachypodieae

In Britain the tribe Brachypodieae has just a single genus: Brachypodium with two species. The tribe has affinities to Bromeae (hence the common name false-brome), and Triticeae and also Meliceae (a post on tribe Meliceae coming soon!).


The culms have all the nodes!

One of the characters that marks out the Poaceae, the grasses, is the node. Grass nodes are the  funny “knobbly knees” on the grass culm (culm=the grass flower stem) and nodes are usually easy to spot. They maybe green or shades of brown or even reddish, round or elongated, hairy or glabrous.


Grass Identification: The Tribes of Grasses – 4 Triticeae

Dr M now turns his attention to the tribe Triticeae with 6 genera in Britain including the domesticated crop species and their wild relatives wheat (Triticum) and Barley (Hordeum) and Rye (Secale).