River otters holding hands. Cats chasing their own tails. Animals seem like they demand our attention. But plants (and their tree friends) have a lot more going on than you’d think. Sit with them a while.
Plants have long employed a variety of defensive strategies against herbivores, but the scope and sophistication of these defenses is still being understood.
In China, gramophone and camera in tow, botanist and explorer Joseph Rock collected seeds from the tree peony that bears his name.
Extinct in the wild, the Franklinia tree is still cultivated in botanical gardens, private homes, parks, even cemeteries. It's also got an interesting Revolutionary-era backstory.
The plant’s golden color has inspired a long—and potentially deadly—fascination.
Victorian London became obsessed with Ward's cases, which protected plants from the city's toxic pollution -- and piqued peoples' imaginations.
The queer history of the pansy and other flowers.
Over 100 years ago, a horticulturalist introduced hybrid plants to California gardeners. Up sprouted a movement of amateur experiments in plant biology.
This plant’s animal-like behavior and alleged love-provoking abilities have sparked the imagination of everyone from early modern yogis to today’s scientists.
In some forests, trees grow in a manner that keeps their branches from touching one another. Despite decades of study, scientists aren't exactly sure why.
The Cavendish banana is currently threatened by a fungal disease. A similar disease all but wiped out its predecessor, the Gros Michel banana.
The Wollemi Pine is an ancient tree, virtually unchanged since herbivorous dinosaurs last munched on them.
Seagrass meadows are habitats for a variety of marine life, and a vital link between land and sea. But these crucial plants are increasingly under threat.
Sandplain grasslands, a kind of East Coast prairie, are some of the rarest habitats in the world, and sheep-grazing may be key to their survival.
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