There are 400,000 known species of plants on Earth. 350,000 are flowering plants. How do we know? How does plant go from unknown to known? Someone, a person, has to notice. To think it matters. There have been countless botanists throughout human history observing the natural world. Plant collection and documentation got to be big … More Uncovering what’s there.
Orchid species (Orchidaceae) have colonized every part of the world, as humans have. Though, humans are one species and orchid species number in the tens of thousands. And of course, describing a group of plants with global reach and varied life strategies is an impossible task, like capturing all of humanity in one image. Collectively, like … More Finding your Fungus.
Recently, Evolutionary biology PhD candidate and science communicator Sally LePage discovered that 10 of 12 water companies in the UK use divining rods. It was picked up by The Guardian amongst other places. Phantom Sense Divining rods, or dowsing objects, do not work. They are no better than chance and Le Page cites the evidence … More Finding water.
Yes, some spoilers of Stranger Things, the popular Netflix series are enclosed within. If you don’t want to know, come back once you’ve watched. The Duffer Brother’s series Stranger Things has an eeriness to it, that there is something else to the world just beyond human perception. It took Eleven, a girl who is forced by the … More Welcome to The Real Upsidedown.
The mighty oak tree is an invader from the North, like the sometimes fearsome Vikings commemorated in Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’. North American oaks trees evolved first in the temperate zone, diversified into red and white oak groups, and then moved south into Mexico. There, oak species diversified further, with more than 150 extant species … More The White & Red Oaks From the North
The Google Doodle on July 10 honored Eva Ekeblad’s 293rd birthday. Her story is illustrative of how new foods get adopted and spread, in this case, the potato in Europe. Countess Eva Ekeblad, at 22, became a member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (founded 1739 and since the late 19th century awarders of Nobel … More Eva Ekeblad and Potato Adoption in Europe.
Humans are inspired by nature in all sorts of ways. A substantial part of that natural world is the plants surrounding us. Some common, most rare, and many found medicinally useful to humans. Even some “useless” plants like Arabidopsis, thale cress, a mustard weed, has contributed human health through its place as a research organism. … More The State of The World’s Medicinal Plants
This is a guest post by Kimberly McCoy. If you’ve ever seen a tree trunk frothing like a dog with rabies, don’t worry, it won’t bite. I recently came across a tree that had a white, bubbling liquid oozing slowly from its bark, and no idea what it was. I saw these two oozing river … More Odd Oozing From The Trees
The professor that got me into plant biology, taught me plant physiology, and in a many ways helped me develop my technical writing ability is retiring this year. Gary Tallman, PhD is retiring from being the Taul Watanabe endowed Professor of Biology at Willamette University in Salem, OR, but has had a long career in … More Guard Cells Tolerating Heat
This is a guest post about a new plant science community resource by Erin Sparks, Guillaume Lobet, Larry York and Frédéric Bouché It is midnight on a cold winter evening and you are scheduled to give a seminar at 8 am the next morning. All you are missing to complete your presentation is one last … More A community repository of plant illustrations