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.
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
It was Carl Sagan’s birthday last week as well as a major election in the US that needs some perspective. And it is clear that science will need more advocacy and storytelling than ever on our pale blue dot, the only home we have ever known. Getting to Green Aroudn 3.7 billion (3,700,000,000) years ago, … More The Long Green View.
This week is a guest post from Juliet Coates and Sharon Robinson. Mosses are a great example of why I started the Quiet Branches. They’re the kinds of plants many wouldn’t notice and don’t realize just how ancient, important, and interesting they are. I have mentioned mosses before in my review of “The Signature of … More Moss – tiny plants, huge potential
As you add condiments to your burgers, hot dogs, etc. at a summer barbecue, take a minute to reflect on where they come from. Most are plant products. And a recent study published in PNAS tells the story about how humans wound up with mustard. As life got going, it started to fill new niches … More Cutting the Evolutionary Mustard.