Plants

  • Genetic expansion underpins tree longevity

    Analysis reveals why species can grow old without getting sick.

    The oak tree has symbolised strength and endurance for thousands of years and across many cultures. Researchers writi...

    Plants June 18, 2018
  • Plants warn neighbours of overcrowding

    Plants respond to above-ground stress, below-ground.

    Plants actively participate in social interactions with their neighbours, and respond to signals generated by roots t...

    Plants May 3, 2018
  • Study shows we've got photosynthesis wrong

    Two decades of growth throws accepted wisdom into doubt.

    Plants fix carbon from the atmosphere through one of two versions of photosynthesis, known as C3 and C4. The science ...

    Plants April 22, 2018
  • Flowers that are visually striking

    Flowering plants have been evolving strange forms.

    Flowers are plants’ reproductive organs. The basics of the design haven’t changed much since the first flowering plan...

    Plants March 26, 2018
  • Five things you should know about trees

    Fascinating lesser-known facts about our arboreal companions.

    1. There are about 3 trillion trees (and falling) in the worldA global map of tree density. Credit: Crowther et al...

    Plants March 20, 2018
  • Lichen elegant sunburst

    Xanthoria elegans is a striking – and scientifically useful – lichen.

    Stretching from France in the west to Slovenia in the east, the Alps are Europe’s largest mountain range and – perhap...

    Plants March 15, 2018
  • How flowering plants conquered the world

    Researchers suggest a solution to Darwin’s “abominable mystery”.

    The Jurassic era was dominated by dinosaurs, conifers and ferns. But around 140 million years ago, at the start of th...

    Plants January 11, 2018
  • The microscopic majesty of pollen

    It looks stunning, but it can actually be bad.

    It literally gets up the nose of millions of hay fever sufferers, making pollen a distinctly unpopular member of the ...

    Plants December 10, 2017
  • Bland tomatoes don't have tasty genes

    Store-bought tomatoes aren’t as tasty as they once were.

    It’s no secret that heirloom tomatoes taste superior to their supermarket equivalents. Now research shows certain gen...

    Plants January 26, 2017
  • How ferns learnt to live in the shadows

    Genetic detective work suggests they acquired a light sensor.

    We thought we knew how plant evolution worked – genes mutate, or are reshuffled through sex, and natural selection do...

    Plants April 28, 2014
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