Category Archives: Evolution

Horse tales: all about Equisetum myriochaetum

This gallery contains 3 photos.

What’s named after a horse, older than a horse and can keep you warm in winter? So-called because of their bristly appearance, the horsetails are an intriguing group of early plants that have existed since the Devonian period [1]. Fossil … Continue reading

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Persea americana: Anachronistic Avocado

If you’ve ever bought an avocado, you’ll know it’s one of those fruits which seems to take forever to ripen. Botanically, the fruit of the avocado is actually a berry with a single (very large) seed. Both of these facts are connected to an interesting evolutionary relationship….   … Continue reading

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A natural Frankestein: the orchid hybrid, Epidendrum x obrienianum

Humankind has always dreamed of chimeras, the Frankenstein´s monster or flying pigs. All this can actually happen in the plant world!! (although they cannot still fly). Many orchid growers have produced astonishing plants that can fascinate the human eye and … Continue reading

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Zebra Danio (Danio rerio) GCSE Learning Resource

Welcome to the first on-line learning resource based in the tropical biodiversity glasshouse at the University of Reading. This learning resource is based on the GCSE level curriculum for biology and is designed to be used as an entire one … Continue reading

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The world’s most wonderful weed?

During one of my first days of study for a masters degree in Plant Diversity at Reading University, we visited the Tropical Biodiversity Greenhouse. A pungent odour from a very brightly coloured plant came straight to my nose! The plant … Continue reading

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Rabbit-Foot Fern

Dr. Percival Lowell, in one of his books, (Mars as the Abode of Life), tells us that, “When the earth was young and still so warm that it was continually enveloped in a thick blanket of steam-warmer everywhere than at … Continue reading

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Mimosa pudica: U Can’t Touch This!

Mimosas all round? No, definitely not the alcoholic beverage! The mimosa I’m talking about is Mimosa pudica L. [Fabaceae], a creeping herb that’s continuing to fascinate the world – both botanists and non-botanists alike! Mix one part of thoroughly chilled … Continue reading

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