Cinnamomum verum

Plant of the Month: Cinnamon

Of early modern medicinal monopolies and the nature of a "true" product of empire.
Eric LoPresti

Some Plants Use Stickiness to Fend off Hungry Insects

For some sand-dwelling plants, stickiness is a defense tactic that keeps predators at bay.
A hand-colored engraving of a Purple Martin

The Disappearing Culture of Purple Martin Landlords

“You have to have almost a cruel streak in you to be a successful Martin landlord."
Ghost plant

Why Some Plants Are Parasites

Tap into the underground network of plants and fungi with mysterious myco-heterotrophes.

Wren Folklore and St. Stephen’s Day

The tiny winter songbirds are clever kings to the Irish. They're also fodder (literally) for post-Christmas ritual.
bottom half of a venus flytrap

Plant of the Month: Venus Flytrap

The carnivorous plant, native to the Carolinas, has beguiled botanists and members of the public alike since the eighteenth century.

Plant of the Month: Cascarilla

Epidemics revive old remedies and accelerate experimentation with new ones.
Atlantic horseshoe crab (Polyphemus occidentalis) illustration from Zoology of New york (1842 - 1844) by James Ellsworth De Kay (1792-1851).

The Horseshoe Crab: Same as It Ever Was?

The seemingly static appearance of these ancient-looking arthropods presents a challenge for scientists who want to study their evolutionary history.
Little brown bat

What Bats Can Teach Humans About Coronavirus Immunity

Bats have a unique genetic ability to tolerate many viral infections. Can humans uncover their secrets?
On the left, Heliconia tarumaensis Barreiros (with yellow bracts); on the right, Heliconia acuminata L.C. Richard (with yellow and red bracts). Dumbarton Oaks Rare Book Collection.

Plant of the Month: Heliconia

Heliconias can distinguish among pollinators like hummingbirds and respond selectively to their visits.