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Dr M Lizard Diary Day 3: eXtreme botany come rain come shine!

Awoke today to the sound of heavy rain beating upon the caravan roof and the forecast being for more of the same we took a walk near the camp site and collected material and brought back to base camp for Dr M’s ID workshop, and numerous photo opportunities to catch students using their hand lenses! For the ID Workshop Dr M collected several species
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Dr M Lizard Diary Day 1: To quadrat or not to quadrat that is the question…”

Sunday 18th May: First day at the Wonderful Lizard! Botany starts early with this group, and barely was breakfast over than the group was off in search of Ranunculus parviflorus (Small-flowered Buttercup) in the barer, scuffed areas of the camp site lawns. A species of special interest to this group as it had made a brief appearance on University of Reading campus last year,
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We’re off to see the Lizard, the Wonderful Lizard at last!

After what has seemed an eternity waiting for the MSc Plant Diversity UK Field Course Module to start, finally the day has arrived! At around 10.20 a.m. Dr M and MSc Plant Diversity students set off from Reading in their ample minibus stacked with more plant ID books than you might reasonably expect to find at a BSBI annual exhibition meeting! And there was
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We’re off to see the Lizard! The wonderful Lizard…

Yes, Dr M and his Reading MSc Plant Diversity students are following the Yellow Brick Road in search of the Emerald City!

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:

Another of those damned elusive yellow compositae!

Dr M has already posted (here) on those conspicuous and characteristic yellow dandelion-like plants which we see all around, especially in grassland and on waste ground and which, despite their superficial resemblance to Dandelions (Taraxacum sp), actually include a number of related genera.

Do you really know your Prunus from your Malus and Pyrus?

Dr M has already posted on the eXtreme botanical and floral distinctions between three fruit trees currently in beautiful bloom in our parks, gardens and countryside. So here, by way of an eXtreme botanical teaser, is a chance for you to test your knowledge and skill in two easy steps (and one slightly trickier one!).

An interview with a sparklingly botanical man with a mission!

Dr M says: Who can it be?

That was Cherry blossom time, that was!

Dr M says: So what’s your favourite Cherry blossom? Dr M is particularly fond of the purest white blossoms of the native Prunus spinosus (Blackthorn) but he’s a sucker for most cherry blossom. There’s something about cherry blossom time; first there’s winter, greyness, rain, greyness again, possibly snow and ice and certainly cold! And then somethings says “let there be Prunus” AND THERE IS PRUNUS!
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Dr M discovers May in mid-April!

A classic spring plant is the beautiful May tree, Crataegus monogyna, (also known as Hawthorn of course) by who’s flowering we know the season must be springtime, the only pretty ring time! even, mayhaps, the first signs that Sumer Is Icumen In!?