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Why are plants smelly?

Ever trod on a plant, caught a whiff of its smell and wondered: why do plants smell? Well, wonder no more, Dr M has just the thing for you: the University of Reading “Why are plants smelly” outreach project – part of University of Reading’s (UoR) contribution to British Science Week (March 2019) and 5th International “Fascination of Plants Day” (May 2019). These events also
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Botanical University Challenge: a precedent from Thailand!

Quite recently Dr M was fascinated to discover that the UK Botanical University Challenge, originally devised by Dr M and John Warren back in 2016, has a very esteemed tropical precedent. Dr M was chatting to new PhD student Mr. Nattanon Meeprom working with Alastair Culham in the School of Biological Sciences at University of Reading.  Very soon Dr M was amazed to learn
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The Twelve Days of Botany!

It’s time to revisit this Dr M classic – the Twelve Days of Botanical Christmas! (First broadcast in December 2014!)


Botanical University Challenge 2019!

YOUR STARTER FOR TEN: The first ever UK Botanical University Challenge took place at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, hosted by James Wong, on 10th March 2016 you can read more about it here.   FINGERS ON BUZZERS!   We are now getting very close to the second Challenge which takes place at the University of Reading on Wednesday 20th February 2019 and is the
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Dr M’s common grass quiz

It’s no secret that Dr M is raving potty about Poaceae so imagine his delight when he saw the new and wonderful @Wildflowerhour also getting into the Poaceous groove with their #grasschallenge! This time of year (June) is truly 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
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Dr M reaching out to the next generation with plants!

Following their successful visit to the University of Reading campus for Fascination of Plants day 2017, Oxford Road Community School and their teacher Mr Lyford invited Dr M to contribute to the school science club. The theme was classification and Dr M took in three bin bags of plants gathered from the University campus and invited the pupils to think about how we can group
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That was FoPD (and #BotanyLive), that was!

After the success of our monkey puzzle Fascination of Plants Day two years ago (check the link here) Dr M and colleagues have done it again, they ran another Fascination of Plants Day event at the University of Reading in the beautiful Harris Garden and tropical glass house. Plus, a first for 2017, they took part in the first ever #BotanyLive event!  Organised by Anne
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Fascination of Plants Day at University of Reading – 12 things plants do for us!

The twelve images from Dr M’s previous post celebrating International Fascination of Plants Day 2017 (here) represent twelve of the things plants do for us and Dr M spells these out below. For sure, there are many more than twelve things plants do for us, but this is a great starting point for appreciating the fascination and importance of plants in all our lives
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Fascination of Plants Day: How many plants are there?

For Fascination of Plants Day 2017 Dr M and colleagues at University of Reading are hosting local school children to come and discuss the fascination of plants on the award-winning green campus at Reading. We have planned three tasks to help explore plants and their fascination first hand: How many plants are there? What’s in the Tropical supermarket? What plants have you used today?
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Getting ready for FoPD: How many plants have you eaten this lunchtime?

As we prepare for Fascination of Plants Day next Thursday 18th May at University of Reading, we ask “how many plants have you used today?”   To get you thinking, here’s a botanical culinary conundrum: How many plants (and derivatives) do you think there are in Dr M’s Chicken curry & rice? You will need to think and hypothesize, they are by no mean all
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