Plants

  • Wearing silk may help seeds grow

    Engineers develop a clever coating.

    A protective silk coating that supplies essential nutrients may make it possible to grow seeds in soil that is otherw...

    Plants November 25, 2019
  • Hops: Something else to grow hydroponically

    Hops prosper indoors under artificial light.

    Plant scientist Bill Bauerle has discovered that hops don't need to go dormant in order to flower. That may sound of...

    Plants November 14, 2019
  • Delicate flower makes a surprise appearance

    Rumours of its extinction were greatly exaggerated.

    This is Psoralea cataracta, and it hasn’t been seen since 1804. In fact, it is only known because of the single spec...

    Plants November 7, 2019
  • Pot plants look nice, but what are they achieving?

    Pot plants don’t improve indoor air quality, researchers say.

    The idea that pot plants are as environmentally valuable as they are aesthetically pleasing is vastly overstated, acc...

    Plants November 6, 2019
  • The really big book of plants

    Effort traces 1100 species and a billion years of evolution.

    After nine years of work, an international consortium of scientists has released gene sequences for more than 1100 pl...

    Plants October 23, 2019
  • Detecting early signs of banana diseases

    Trials of new app on three continents show positive results.

    New technology could help protect the world’s most important fruit crop, the banana. A smartphone app developed by sc...

    Plants September 3, 2019
  • Can switchgrass make better biofuels?

    It ticks a lot of boxes, but we need to know more.

    Scientists in the US are turning microscopes on grasses in order to take a whack at global warming.  The goal is to ...

    Plants August 12, 2019
  • Young Hass has a mixed background

    New study sheds light on the avocado’s family history.

    The Hass avocado, the world’s most popular, is a 61:39 mix of Mexican and Guatemalan varieties, researchers say. The...

    Plants August 7, 2019
  • A tree stump that refuses to die

    Its neighbours are chipping in to keep it alive.

    This stump of a kauri tree (Agathis australis) should be dead, and the fact that it isn’t is more than just a novelty...

    Plants July 26, 2019
  • Stealing genes to become better parasites

    Researchers reveal functional horizontal gene transfer.

    Dodder is a known parasite of wild, agricultural and horticultural plants, and can feed on multiple plants at one tim...

    Plants July 22, 2019
  • Gene determines how far down roots go

    New finding could help plants adapt to a changing climate.

    Biologists have discovered a gene they believe determines how deep roots go in the soil, and this, they hope, will he...

    Plants July 11, 2019
  • Tall (and diverse) timber

    Study finds thousands of genetic differences in a single tree.

    Researchers from Canada’s University of British Columbia spent last northern summer scaling these giant Sitka spruce ...

    Plants July 9, 2019
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