Category Archives: Amazing Plants

Algae That Survive In Deserts Hold Valuable Secrets

In the future, microalgae could be used to make an oil that represents an alternative to palm oil; this would reduce the demand for palm tree plantations, which pose a major threat to the natural environment. Moreover, understanding how microalgae can colonize a desert region will help us to understand the effects of climate change in the region. (Click on title for full story.)

Is This What The Earliest Flower Looked Like?

Though the team’s reconstructed ancestral flower doesn’t look radically different than many modern flowers, it does have a combination of traits not found today. Like many of today’s flowers, the putative ancestor contained both male and female parts on the same blossom. And the arrangement and numbers of its petals and its organs that shed and receive pollen all fall within the range of its modern descendants—no one trait stands out as obviously ancient. But no one current flower matches its form exactly, either. One discovery that will surprise some researchers is that its petals and other organs were organized in concentric circles in groups of three, rather than in spirals, (Click on title for full story.)

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Thorns And Spines Did Not Develop On Plants For The Reasons You Thought

The overwhelming bulk of the scientific literature on the ecological and evolutionary purpose of thorniness (or, to use biologists’ preferred terminology, spinescence) has focused on the hypothesis that mammalian herbivores are the main target. That may have been a mistake. Over the years, studies of how well sharp deterrents discourage hungry mammals have returned mixed results. (Click on title for full story.)

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The Trees That Lean Towards The Equator… Wherever The Are Planted

We first noticed A. columnaris leaning south in California and Hawaii, where it is a common horticultural plant. Our observation from Australia, though, suggested that Araucaria columnaris lean north in the southern hemisphere. (Click on title for full study.)

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High School Student Discovers How Plants Warn Neighbors Of Threats

“So the injured plant is sending signals through the air. It’s not releasing these chemicals to help itself, but to alert its plant neighbors,” (Click on title for full story.)

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Over 1,700 Exciting New Plant Species Discovered in 2016!

Finding so many new species in a year is not unusual and Prof Kathy Willis, director of science at Kew Gardens, said: “There are just huge areas we know nothing about. I find it really encouraging that there are many, many new plants to be found in the world.” (Click on title for full story.)

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Meet The Earliest Orchid Ever Found. A Mere 45 Million Years Old

How the orchid pollen in this study ended up attached to the fungus gnat and eventually entombed in amber from near the Baltic Sea in northern Europe is a matter of speculation. (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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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.)