Monthly Archives: July 2011

Is it a Tweet? Is it a Blog? No its a Bird’s-foot trefoil…but which one?

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Lotus corniculatus, Common Bird’s-foot trefoil, mentioned in the ‘Peas in the Wilderness’ blog a few weeks ago, also goes by the evocative names Eggs and Bacon, Ham and Eggs, Tomb Thumb, Fingers and Thumbs, Granny’s Toenails, Dutchman’s Clogs etc.  In … Continue reading

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Galls on campus 3: Mite galls on acers

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Many mites produce galls on plants.  Most gall mites occur in the superfamily Eriophyoidea; these mites don’t resemble the globular spider mites or predatory mites that you may be familiar with; rather they are cone or worm shaped with only … Continue reading

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Galls on Campus 2: Knopper galls

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One of the most recognisable galls (on oak, at least) is the knopper gall, caused by the cynipid gall wasp Andricus quercuscalicis, and these galls have started to appear on campus (Figs 1-3) on acorns of Quercus robur.  Similar to … Continue reading

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Apiaceae on Campus and the Public Toilet Plant

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A succession of white Umbellifers (Apiaceae) can be found on campus through the spring and summer and well into Autumn. The first to flower is that harbinger of spring Anthriscus sylvestris (Cow Parsley) very obvious in April to June in … Continue reading

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Green & Brown

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The new Enterprise Centre at Earley Gate is the first campus building to have a green roof, but not satisfied with this it also has a brown roof! Green roofs are now well established as an environmentally friendly way to … Continue reading

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Plant galls on campus

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If butterflies and dragonflies can be considered bird-watchers’ insects, then plant gallers are the botanist’s insects (although many galls are caused by mites and fungi), as identification of the host plant is essential to their identification.  Although you are unlikely … Continue reading

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A Tale of two willowherbs

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Checking though the list of Whiteknights Campus plants (compiled by David Grice, a recent Reading botany undergraduate) I came across references to no fewer than seven willow herb species, two of which have caused me considerable confusion,  square-stemmed willow-herb (Epilobium tetragonum) … Continue reading

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