Bryales is a large order of acrocarpous mosses containing about 500 species world-wide, and found growing on soil, rocks and walls.
A small order in Britain (but about 135 species world-wide), including a very common and characteristic species, Funaria hygrometrica, growing on old bonfire sites, disturbed ground and garden and other horticultural habitats.
Dr M loves Grimmiales, well it’s such a wonderful bryological name! And a great big order of epiphytic acrocarpous mosses of walls and rocks and boulders and related habitats.
“Lichens are not plants!” I hear you say! So what are lichens doing here on this botanical website?! Well, says Dr M, they are at least half plants! Lichens are a kind of symbiotic union between two very different groups of organisms (different Kingdoms even!) a fungus (Fungi Kingdom) and an algae (Plant Kingdom).
Recently, Dr M ran a Spring term plant ID test for his MSc students at University of Reading and has posted the results of Part 1 (vascular plants). Here Dr M posts Part 2 of the test: the bryophytes – the group of lower plants which includes the mosses and liverworts. There were ten species in total: three species to be identified without books
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Dr M reports that the Society for Biology has just undertaken the first ever analysis of activities across the UK’s plant science sector. The study involved a year of consultation with over 300 individuals and organisations from the UK plant science community. The report entitled: “UK Plant Science: Current status and future challenges” was released at the Royal Society, London on Tuesday 28th January 2014.
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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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Recently, Dr M discovered a botanical website called simply: “Go Botany“, based at the New England Wild Flower Society in the USA. This wonderful botanical site embraces botany in the 21st century with a whole suite of online teaching and learning tools, basic and advanced online keys, plant sharing and interaction with the botanical community young and old alike.
Dr M’s MSc New Year Plant Hunt (borrowed from the idea by BSBI) took place on Tuesday 14th January 2014. Three groups of MSc students walked the University of Reading Whiteknights campus for 1 hour each in the chilly sunshine collecting any plant in flower and these were taken back to the lab and identified
Dr M’s mission to discover the best plant ID aids continues, and recently stumbled upon (for that is how the internet often works!) a nice post by Michelle Slatella on the US Gardenista website reviewing apps for plant ID.