The Dragon tree (left) and Dragon tree fruit (right)

Plant of the Month: The Dragon Tree

Dragon's blood is all the rage now, but where does the scarlet resin come from?
agave

Plant of the Month: Agave

The international popularity of tequila threatens the quantity, health, and biodiversity of all species of agave.
The Flower Girl by Charles Cromwell Ingham, 1846

When Botany Was for Ladies

In nineteenth century America, young women took to studying botany—a conjoining of interest, social acceptance, and readily available schooling.
Joseph Rock

Meet the Man Behind the Peony

In China, gramophone and camera in tow, botanist and explorer Joseph Rock collected seeds from the tree peony that bears his name.
Mary Somerset

The Beaufort Botanist and Her “Innocent Diversion”

Despite the twelve volume herbarium she created, this seventeenth-century scientist earned little recognition. 
A plate from Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium, by Maria Sibylla Merian

The Metamorphosis of a 17th-Century Insect Artist

Maria Sibylla Merian's work in the natural sciences was overlooked for centuries. Now a rare butterfly has been named in her honor.
Orchids in a Wardian Case

The Accidental Invention of Terrariums

Victorian London became obsessed with Ward's cases, which protected plants from the city's toxic pollution -- and piqued peoples' imaginations.
Cranberries in a strainer

Seven Things You Might Not Know About Cranberries

They're red, tart, and mostly eaten at Thanksgiving. Love them or hate them, here are seven things you might not have known about the humble cranberry.
Constantine Samuel Rafinesque

The Raffish and Radical Constantine Samuel Rafinesque

Constantine Samuel Rafinesque was an adventuring naturalist who named 2,700 genera and wrote about evolution before Darwin. Why has he been forgotten?
Peter Rabbit Beatrix Potter

The Other Side of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter biography covers a lot more than than just cute bunnies getting into trouble in mean old Mr. McGregor's farm, not that there's anything wrong with that.