photography
These Award-Winning Botanical Photos Belong in Alice in Wonderland 

Some photographers like to capture people; others like to capture the stories of the botanical world, from our backyards to our gardens and wildlands. That’s the premise behind the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew’s International Garden Photographer of the Year Award, whose winners were announced Friday. Read More >>

science
Potatoes Have a Form of ‘Depression,’ but Scientists Have an Idea to Cure Them

Scientists are trying to revolutionise potatoes and, in the process, cure the tubers’ depression, the result of generations of inbreeding. Read More >>

science
Cyborg Houseplant Can Drive Itself Toward the Light It Craves

During the impending robopocalypse, humanity will have to ward off freakishly agile androids, robotic dogs, whatever the hell this is, and, as new research from MIT suggests, quasi-autonomous, mobile robot-plant hybrids. Read More >>

science
What’s the Smartest Plant?

Compared to even the dumbest human being, your average tulip is a moron. But you’d have to be dumber than a tulip to deny that something – maybe not intelligence in its dictionary definition, but some guiding, autonomic power – is at work among the members of the plant kingdom. And if we grant plants this quasi-intelligence, then we have to concede that some of them must be smarter than others – cannier absorbers of bugs and sun, better users of their varied environments. Inevitably, then, the question is: which one’s smartest? Read More >>

science
Scientists Stabbed Cactus Spines Into Meat to Study Evolution

One benefit of working at a university with an agricultural school is the availability of meat. That’s especially useful if you need something to stab cactus spines into. Read More >>

science
Watch the Awesome Way in Which Plants Defend Themselves Against Threats

We tend to think of plants as helpless, passive green blobs, but a fascinating new study, in which scientists used fluorescent light to visualise alarm signals within plants, shows how our photosynthesising friends are able to mobilise their defences. Read More >>

facebook
Drama Over Shirtless Selfie in Houseplant Hobby Group Inspires Wave of Plant Nude Trolling

Since the dawn of time, human beings have been covering their naughty bits with flora—or at least that’s what the classicist motif of putting fig leaves over nudity would have you believe. This age-old practice recently saw a social media resurgence, with dozens of Facebook users posting their own semi-nude plant photos online. Read More >>

science
Beetle Trapped in 99-Million-Year-Old Amber Was an Early Pollinator 

Amber fossils containing bugs are nothing new, but the discovery of a beautifully preserved Cretaceous Period beetle with bits of pollen still around it is changing what we know about the planet’s earliest pollinating insects. Read More >>

humour
This Computer Actually Works Better With Windows

Wyatt Little has designed the first computer that performs much better with Windows — and lots of sunlight. In many ways, this Little Computer Planter is vastly superior to your laptop. There’s no email to deal with, no internet, no Twitter, and it will turn the CO2 you exhale with every saddened sigh into life-giving oxygen. Read More >>

science
Mistletoe Somehow Survives Without Protein Needed by All Other Multicellular Life

Mistletoe might be a nice yuletide decoration, but it’s also a nefarious, parasitic badass that preys upon a series of hosts. Apparently one species has decided it no longer needs a protein that every other multicellular organism on Earth requires to live. Read More >>

plants
Plants Complain to Their Friends When the Neighborhood Gets Too Crowded

Plants don’t like to be touched. For these immobile organisms, it means they’re likely growing too close to a neighbouring plant, and that their access to available sunlight is under threat. New research shows that touch-sensitive plants can communicate a warning message to their related neighbours, advising them to adjust their growth patterns accordingly. Read More >>

science
This Glitter-Filled Algae Is a Living Opal

There’s a reason that many natural things look unbelievably cool: evolution. Given the stresses of existing on this turbulent spinning orb, some organisms must adapt in literally dazzling ways. Like this alga, which is basically a living opal. Read More >>

science
Earth’s First Land Plants May Have Sprouted 80 Million Years Earlier Than Previously Thought

For hundreds of millions of years, life on Earth was a purely aquatic phenomenon. The jump from the oceans to the continents was a monumental event, one that would irrevocably change the face of our plants. A new study suggests the first plants to make this evolutionary leap appeared much earlier than we thought. Read More >>

science
Flowers Express ‘Invisible’ Heat Patterns to Attract Bees

Over the course of evolution, flowers and pollinating insects have developed an intimate, mutually beneficial relationship. To get the attention of pollinators, flowers have developed an assortment of cues, such as colourful petals and aromatic smells. But as a new study points out, many plants also express complex floral heat patterns, which bees are able to detect. Read More >>

science
The US Department of Defence Is Developing Plants That Are Spies

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to bioengineer plants so that the military can turn foliage into spies. Read More >>