Dr M and his students go on a New Year Plant Hunt!

Dr M’s New Year Plant Hunt (borrowed from the idea by BSBI) took place on Tuesday 14th January 2014.

Three groups of MSc Plant Diversity and MSc SISS 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 also took the opportunity to take his own separate walk.

Only native and naturalised (and not planted) species were included and only plants with at least one intact flower.

The individual group scores were 10, 21, 22 and 24 species.

Several species were found by more than one of the groups, so in total there were 38 different species recorded in flower, these are listed below.

This does not reach the total of 66 found by the winning group in the BSBI Plant Hunt, but it is pretty good total for a University campus, no wonder it is a prize winning campus!

The thirty-eight species were from seventeen different families, the most speciose being (no surprise) Asteraceae with fourteen species, followed, at a distance, by Brassicaceae, Caryophyllaceae and Geraniaceae each with three species.

There are no real Spring flowering species on the list and so no indication of an early Spring.

Rather, the mild winter weather has allowed a number of species to hang on in flower when in a more normal year the frost would have put paid to them by now!

Here are illustrations of eighteen of the species, how many could you recognise  – without the labels!


Here is the full list:

1 Amaranthaceae Chenopodium album Fat Hen
2 Apiaceae Daucus carota Wild Carrot
3 Apocynaceae Vinca major Greater Periwinkle
4 Asteraceae Lapsana communis Nipplewort
5 Asteraceae Tanacetum parthenium Feverfew
6 Asteraceae Sonchus oleraceus Smooth Sow-Thistle
7 Asteraceae Achillea millefolium Yarrow
8 Asteraceae Bellis perennis Daisy
9 Asteraceae Centaurea nigra Black Knapweed
10 Asteraceae Conyza canadensis Canadian Fleabane
11 Asteraceae Crepis capillaris Smooth Hawk’s-beard
12 Asteraceae Hypochaeris radicata Cat’s-ear
13 Asteraceae Senecio jacobaea Ragwort
14 Asteraceae Senecio vulgaris Groundsel
15 Asteraceae Taraxacum officinalis agg. Dandelion
16 Asteraceae Tragopogon pratensis Goat’s-beard
17 Asteraceae Tripleurospermum inodorum Scentless Mayweed
18 Betulaceae Corylus avellana Hazel
19 Brassicaceae Arabidopsis thaliana Thale Cress
20 Brassicaceae Capsella bursa-pastoris Shepherd’s Purse
21 Brassicaceae Cardamine hirsuta Hairy Bitter-cress
22 Caryophyllaceae Cerastium glomeratum Sticky Mouse-ear
23 Caryophyllaceae Silene dioica Red Campion
24 Caryophyllaceae Stellaria media Common Chickweed
25 Dipsacaceae Knautia arvensis Field Scabious
26 Euphorbiaceae Euphorbia peplis Petty Spurge
27 Fabaceae Medicago lupulina Black Medick
28 Fabaceae Trifolium pratense Red Clover
29 Geraniaceae Erodium cicutarium Common Stork’s-bill
30 Geraniaceae Geranium molle Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill
31 Geraniaceae Geranium pusillum Small-flowered Crane’s-bill
32 Lamiaceae Lamium purpureum Red Dead-nettle
33 Poaceae Lolium perenne Perennial Rye-grass
34 Poaceae Poa annua Annual Meadow-grass
35 Ranunculaceae Ranunculus bulbosus Bulbous Buttercup
36 Rosaceae Geum urbanum Wood Avens
37 Urticaceae Urtica urens Small Nettle
38 Veronicaceae Veronica persica Field Speedwell

About drmgoeswild

Field botanist and ecologist, with a passion for plants and vegetation and teaching and learning (follow me at www.drmgoeswild.com)
This entry was posted in Amaranthaceae, Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Betulaceae, Brassicaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Flowering Plants, Geraniaceae, Lamiaceae, Legumes, Phenology, Plants, Poaceae, Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae, Surveys, Urticaceae, Veronicaceae. Bookmark the permalink.

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