Gardeners and Nature lovers already appreciate the botanical wonders around us, but plants are more than floral beauties. We owe the air we breathe to them, all of our food, and most of our medicine, chemicals and housing. Animals from elephants to ants depend on plant-life. And the world's flora has an equally intimate relationship with the birds, insects, mammals and humans around them. Explore these relationships and find the latest botany discoveries through the links below. Check out the categories in the menu or try the search using the magnifying glass above.

What Is Lost? Newly Discovered Tropical Tree May Disappear Before It Is Studied

There is a real danger that this and other species will be lost to the world before they have even been properly investigated. Exploring the rainforest is not just fascinating, it is really, really urgent. *Click image of title for full story.)


How Pumpkins Replaced Mastadon Seed Dispersal With Humans’

When mastodons and mammoths went extinct in the Americas, wild squash too, saw drastic decline, archaeological evidence shows. “The plants lost their primary means of seed dispersal,” At that time, squash switched partners in its evolutionary dance. (Click image or title for full story.)


How Farming Changed Human DNA Millennia Ago

The agricultural revolution was one of the most profound events in human history, leading to the rise of modern civilization. Now, in the first study of its kind, an international team of scientists has found that after agriculture arrived in Europe 8,500 years ago, people’s DNA underwent widespread changes, altering their height, digestion, immune system and skin color. (Click image or title for full story.)

A “Safe” and “Natural” Insect Control That Also Kills Bees

The results we present here show that the native British bumble bee B. terrestris is remarkably susceptible to two commercially available entomopathogenic nematode pest control products. Both products caused very high levels of bee mortality after only 72 h of exposure, with the first deaths evident after 48 h. This result was unexpected: the susceptibility of bees to entomopathogenic nematodes such as Heterorhabdidtis spp. and Steinernema spp. has never previously been reported. (Click on image or title for full story)


Fossils Reveal Rise Of First Forests Changed The Earth Forever

A team of scientists has unearthed the fossil remnants of a tropical forest on the arctic island of Svalbard, and it could help explain one of the most dramatic climate shifts in Earth’s history. (Click on image or title for full story.)


Ash Dieback Threatens More Than Trees

The light dappled shade beneath its canopy is ideal for many of the lichens that grow on tree bark and wood. Like elm, the bark of ash has a relatively high pH, a requirement for many lichens. Several of the more ‘demanding’ species that were severely affected by loss of habitat following Dutch Elm Disease found refuge on ash. Now they are further threatened. (Click on image or title for full story)


Bite me! Plants That Were Browsed Produce More Viable Seeds

In most populations, plants damaged by herbivores had a greater proportion of viable seeds per plant or a greater probability of seed germination. (Click on image or title for full story)


Good News About Chocolate, Ten Million Years In The Making

After 10 million years of evolution, we should not be surprised to see a large amount of variation within the species, some of which might exhibit novel flavors or forms that are resistant to diseases. These varieties may contribute towards improving a developing chocolate industry, (Click on image or title for full story)


The $Billion Quest For The Lost Cider Apple

But when pressed and fermented, it could blossom into liquid gold. With time and expertise, its nectar could become as layered and as nuanced as the great wines of France’s Loire Valley. (Click image or title for full story)


The Worst Contemporary Ecological Disaster Is All About Profit

We are witnessing the worst manmade environmental disaster since the BP gulf oil spill. Huge, out-of-control fires rage through the forests of Indonesia – and the source of many is the practice of deliberately burning the land to clear it for palm oil and paper products. (Click image or title for full story)