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.
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Fire Reveals New Plant Species

“The extraordinary thing is, the vegetation that was burnt in 2015 hadn’t been burnt for something like 70 or 80 years,” Professor Hopper said. He was astonished the new species had gone undetected for hundreds of years. (Click on title for full story.)

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You Don’t Look A Day Under 100: Managing Forests To Act Old Has Benefits

The “old growth” engineering technique succeeded in creating diverse habitats. But the kicker, Keeton says, is that it has also allowed the forest to store a significant amount of carbon, much more than several other conventional tree selection harvesting techniques. That’s key to fighting climate change. Now, forests that are left alone — with no trees harvested — store the most carbon. But Keeton’s study is finding that it is possible to manage the forest to maximize carbon capture, and still keep it a working forest. (Click on title for full story.)

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How A Changing Climate Will Change Gardens

As the world warms and weather patterns shift, the study by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) concludes that British gardens will need to adapt. (Click on title for full story.)

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The Earliest Land Plants Survived By Teaming With Fungi

Paleobotanists think plants formed these relationships with fungi early on. Molecular, genomic and physiological evidence all suggest that early land plants were mycorrhizal to some degree. (Click on title for full story.)

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The Fierce Competitive Genius of…. Bluebells

Bluebells also form carpets without a wooded canopy and point to the locations of ancient forests, long after the trees themselves have vanished. This is because, unlike trees, bluebells have most of their biomass and reproductive organs (the bulb) below ground where they are better protected. They are beautiful flowers, but have you ever wondered how bluebells pull off an even more impressive feat: being in their flowering prime when other plants have only just started to grow? Here are seven of their cleverest tricks.(Click on title for full story.)

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How The First Gardeners Adapted To New Environments: The Story Of Leaf-Cutter Ants

“If you had X-ray vision and you could look out in a wet, new-world tropical forest, you’d see the entire underground just peppered with garden chambers,” (Click on title for full story.)

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Furthest Seed Dispersal Award Goes To…. African Savanna Elephants!

The African savanna elephant holds the prize for largest living terrestrial animal, and now it apparently just set another land record: the longest distance mover of seeds. The pachyderms can transport seeds up to 65 kilometers, according to a study of elephant dung in South Africa. That’s 30 times farther than savanna birds take seeds, and it indicates that elephants play a significant role in maintaining the genetic diversity of trees on the savanna. (Click on title for full story.)

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Can The Devastation By Bark Beetles Be Stopped With A Sound Recording?

Bark beetles — whose numbers have reached outbreak levels throughout the West — are hard to keep away from trees. One solution may be to confuse them by playing their own sounds, distorted into a maddening cacophony, back at them. (Click on title for full story.)

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Plant Roots Grow Towards The Sound Of Running Water

“It indicates that the invasion of sewer pipes by tree roots may be based on the plants ‘hearing’ water and shows that their perception of their surroundings is much greater and far more complex than we previously thought.” (Click on title for full story.)

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Using Daffodils To Reveal Lost History

Historic preservation is a field that draws on information from many disciplines. It involves more than just looking at old buildings—even though that is one of my favorite things to do. Historic preservation teaches you how to think critically about your environment and reflect upon how people in the past shaped your surroundings. Through botany and horticulture, historic preservationists can not only narrow down the date of a site, but also learn more about the people who lived there. (Click on title for full story.)