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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Himalayan Farmers partner with nonprofit to cultivate medicinal plants

With the help of advisors from the Mountain Institute, Nepalese residents learn cultivation skills needed to move their medicinal plant enterprises from foraging to farming — an environmental and economic win-win.

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The Dance Of Primate Seed Dispersers Creates The Rain Forest

The analysis of the spatial genetic structure of the Parkia population revealed a significant genetic relationship of the plant embryos and young trees within a radius of 300 meters, which coincides with the distance within which most seeds are dispersed by the tamarins.

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Theft Of Sexy Nuts Threaten Rare Palms

Under cover of darkness in the steamy jungles of the Seychelles thieves creep out to harvest the sizeable and valuable nuts of the famous coco de mer palm, and their activities are threatening its long-term survival.

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Plugging Into Plants: New Technology Harnesses Photosynthsis

Although the idea of using plants and photosynthesis to extract energy is not a new one—for decades middle schoolers have been engineering clocks made from potatoes, which run on a similar principle—Plant-e’s technology is the first to produce electricity from plants without damaging them.

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Why (and when) Trees Evolved To Live Underground

Some trees, however, have evolved strategies to cope with the constant threat of fire. There are species, for instance, that developed thick insulating corky bark to protect the tree even when it is burning. More extraordinary, however, are the trees that moved underground.

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Ant Defenders Push Plant Evolution

Biologists have long speculated which traits may have been “key innovations” that have led to highly diverse groups of species. In animals it has been suspected that flight played a similar key role in the diversification of birds, bats and insects. For plant species, defense against insect pests and the formation of mutually beneficial relationships with predators was a critical evolutionary leap,

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Plant-based gel can stop traumatic bleeding in seconds

Like Lego building blocks for the body. The building blocks in this case are plant-based polymers pulled from the cell walls of a plant that basically reassemble onto whatever you put them next to (skin, for example), which helps clot blood in seconds.

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The 9 Rarest Plants In The World

Here are nine of the most threatened plants today. They are almost all classed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These plants occupy some of the most inaccessible, remote parts of our planet. They are threatened by habitat destruction, illegal collection, poaching, and competition with invading species.

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How Barley Conquered The Himalayas

The move to year-round lofty living coincided with a shift from farming frost-sensitive millet to frost-resistant barley, according to a study of plant remains, animal bones and artefacts from 53 archaeological sites across the north-eastern plateau.

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How Farming Almost Destroyed Ancient Human Civilization

In a sense, agriculture was a technology that came before human civilization was ready. It gave humans the means to grow into large settlements and proto-cities. But we’d spent tens of thousands of years as nomads before that, and weren’t yet ready to abandon our ancient beliefs that no family should ever accumulate more than its neighbors. As a result, our earliest experiment with urbanism ended in failure. When the going got rough, with bad harvests and disease, humans preferred to abandon their nascent urban creations because we had not yet developed a social structure that would allow us to cope with the difficulties of city life.