Plants Use Weapons To Compete Against Each Other During Reproduction

It's not uncommon for males of various species to physically battle it out in an effort to win over females. But plants, because they can't move or fully sense their environment, don't partake in this reproductive process. Well, at least that's what we thought. » 3/20/14 1:40pm 3/20/14 1:40pm

New evidence that plants can "think" about future risks

Plants may not have a cerebral cortex, but that doesn't mean they haven't evolved effective forms of alternative intelligence. As a recent study of the Barberry and its parasites shows, some plants exhibit a form of memory — and even anticipate future risks. » 3/05/14 11:40am 3/05/14 11:40am

The chemistry of the corpse flower's wretched stench

Earlier this month, a titan arum (a.k.a. "corpse flower," a.k.a. amorphophallus titanum, a.k.a. "large, misshapen penis") bloomed for the first time in over half a decade at the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington D.C. In this quick video from BytesizeScience, the USBG's public science educator Todd Brethauer explains the … » 7/31/13 8:30am 7/31/13 8:30am

Canada's new hi-tech $20 bill has the wrong maple leaf on it

Well, this is embarrassing: According to botanists, Canada's brand new polymer $20 bill has the wrong maple leaf on it. Instead of choosing a maple leaf derived from any one of 13 species native to the country, the Bank of Canada appears to have chosen a leaf from an invasive species, the Norway maple. But despite the … » 1/21/13 12:50pm 1/21/13 12:50pm

Watch ants slip and slide to their doom inside this ingenious…

This short video reveals how the carnivorous pitcher plant Heliamphora nutans traps its prey with an ingenious two-step method — even if the ants in the video are able to get a grip on the plant's dangerously smooth pelt, some well-placed water means the ants have almost no chance of getting out alive. » 12/31/12 8:40am 12/31/12 8:40am

How a Simple Glass Case Terraformed the Entire World

If you walk by even the simplest garden, you'll see plants that were transported there from other continents. If you walk by a field or an orchard, you'll definitely see foreign plants brought close to help people survive or just enjoy themselves. It seems simple now, but the ability to do this easily changed nearly… » 9/14/12 1:01pm 9/14/12 1:01pm

Gathering Scientific Evidence that Traditional Medicines Can Work

Traditional medicine doesn't just fill up the health food aisle at the supermarket — it could help make everybody healthier. But how can we figure out which ancient herbal remedies actually work, and which ones are just hype? An estimated 10,000 to 53,000 plant species were traditionally used as medicines, and only… » 9/12/12 10:30am 9/12/12 10:30am

This carnivorous plant traps and digests its prey underground

When we think of carnivorous plants, we usually think of the clamping maw of the Venus Fly trap, or the rodent-luring pitcher plants — plants that keep their traps safely above ground where we can see them. But the seemingly innocent flowering plants of genus Philcoxia keep their weapons lurking underground, sticky… » 7/07/12 4:00pm 7/07/12 4:00pm