Trees, is there anything they can’t do? Doubtful. Let’s see: producing half the world’s oxygen, providing habitat for millions of species, creating the soil and timber resources we depend on. Not bad. But all that’s just scratching the surface. As new research shows, there’s a lot more going on beneath the forest…
The Venus flytrap is perhaps the best known of carnivorous plants — those that get essential nutrients from trapping and consuming insects, particularly when they can’t get enough from the soil. Now a team of German scientists has discovered that the flytrap can actually count, and this ability is the key to knowing…
These are horsetails. They are hundred-and-fifty-million-year-old plants and the last of their kind. Instead of seeds, they give off spores. And instead of flying or swimming, these spores use humidity to walk, or even hop, on four little legs.
Scientists have identified one of the earliest flowering plants on Earth. Montsechia vidalii likely lived and reproduced below water. The discovery of the 130-million-year-old fossil suggests aquatic plants were common in the evolution of flowering plants, and that aquatic habitats facilitated their diversification.
This orchid is a self-fertilizer. You’d think it would be able to apply pollen to itself without help, but no. It’s the romantic rain that provides the motion which allows the plant to procreate. Hot!
Flowers usually expend their energy on making themselves bright and colorful. They bleach themselves white to stand out against dark leaves, or they deck themselves out in colorful patterns, but the overwhelming majority keep the nectar they offer clear. So, where did this flower’s red nectar come from?
We all know the animal kingdom is incredibly violent — but what about plants? The world of plant life can be just as intense and violent, in its own way. Just check out these eye-popping videos, vines and other illustrations of plants spreading their seeds in an explosive, insane fashion.
Few of know you the mouse-ear cress. It’s a relative of mustard and cabbage, but it’s not known for its flavor or nutrition. It’s not farmed commercially. It’s not noticeable. It’s a small white plant with boring white flowers —and yet even though it’s not famous, it’s still the most well-known plant in the world.
The Earth is a weird, weird place and there are some weird, weird organisms living on it. Just take a look at these members of the plant and fungal kingdoms, which sometimes look like something dreamed up for a Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
We don’t usually get to witness the movements of plants and fungi, which happen so slowly that we don’t notice it with our naked eyes. But these timelapse videos speed up the process, letting us appreciate the sometimes graceful growing and dying of these organisms.
The Gympie Gympie is an Australian plant with spindly stems and heart-shaped light green leaves. Brushing your hand against it can make you throw up from the pain. Using it as toilet paper has made people shoot themselves. This plant will ruin you.
Pterocarpus angolensis, or wild teak, looks like a perfectly normal tree until it's wounded. When you cut into it, it dribbles long trails of dark-red liquid down its trunk. Wild teak has come to be known as Bloodwood, for obvious reasons.
They're not glowing on their own. They're tagged with a fluorescent protein that shows the flower doing a very strange thing — a thing that humans take for granted. Here's how flowers get rid of their own organs.
This is Puya chilensis, a plant found in Chile. Did you know it's the botanical equivalent of an Edgar Allan Poe story? Here's why this plant is a house of horrors.
After waiting 80 years to flower, this huge plant has just one month to live. Following a growth spurt that saw the unusually old American agave plant grow to 28 feet tall, it's now in a period of decline. Thankfully, the "tons" of seeds it finally produced from its pods will be distributed to botanical gardens…
The species? Brassica oleracea. Its other varieties include cabbage, broccoli, savoy, kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts, to name just a few commercially relevant examples. How did one species of plant come to be so diverse? Selective human breeding and exceptional genetic diversity.
It takes just three minutes to watch this video, but it covers eight months of an oak tree's life. First, we go underground, where the plant slowly bursts from its shell, and eventually above ground, where it shoots up into a young tree.
This is Aristolochia rotunda, or "fat hen." It's a common plant, native to southern Europe. It doesn't look like anything special, but scientists recently discovered that it has one of the most wacko breeding strategies in all of nature.
Insects, spiders, and other arthropods meet their doom in this stunning, but unnerving timelapse video, capturing the movements of carnivorous plants. It took 107 days of straight shooting to capture all of this dangerous beauty.