The Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona, while dry, is anything but a barren wasteland. Many plants have adapted to its arid environment. In the spring, these cacti and other plants burst into bloom.
English and Spanish bluebells and hybrids between the two species live in British Columbia and in Britain. The flowers are admired for their beauty but are also a concern.
The American sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) is an ornamental tree grown in BC. Its leaves are a gorgeous colour in autumn, but its spiky fruits may be a problem.
Irises are beautiful flowers that have a wide variety of colours. Some are used to make orris root, which has a lovely scent but can cause an allergic response.
Kudzu, the "Vine that Ate the South," is an invasive intruder. Can it also be a blessing in disquise? This article will examine some of the uses for kudzu and its potential as a renewable resource.
Insect pests, poor soil, the wrong light conditions, fungal infections, clumsy gardeners... All of these things can harm or even kill a tree. Find out how to fix many of these common issues.
Anyone who has ever tripped and fallen knows that gravity works. The question is, how does it work for plants. What makes plants grow up and roots grow down? Geotropism is the answer.
This article is all about the characteristics of the Pine tree, the adaptations that help to survive winter, reproduction through cones, and uses. Read on to know more.
The Abutilon menziesii is a native plant in Hawaii, endemic and federally listed as a critically endangered species with only about 500 plants remaining in fewer than 10 naturally-occurring populations throughout the Hawaiian islands. This sprawling shrub is known as Koʻoloa ʻula in Hawaii.
A great part of the beauty of Tenerife in the Canary Islands is created by the amazing wealth of exotic plant species that grow on the island. There are, however, many common ones that are definitely the "femme fatales" of the vegetable kingdom.
The bunya pine produces huge and often very heavy cones. Its large seeds are both edible and tasty. The tree has a strange appearance and some unusual features.
Flamboyant flowers of wonderful colors, shape and form dominate the Saudi Arabian desert in springtime. The "barren" terrain is teeming with unique flora that delight not only plant enthusiasts, but also anyone who has an eye for nature. You'll be surprised to know their great benefits, too.
The hedge bindweed or morning glory twines around other plants and interferes with their growth. Bindweed produces large and beautiful flowers in summer.
Overcrowding isn't good for plants. What are some of the tools and tricks plants use to spread their seeds. Read on an find out.
This article looks at the the ideas of Dorothy Retallack, who's 1973 book expressed strong ideas on the effects of music on plant growth.
Roses are beautiful and often fragrant flowers. They produce a useful oil and fruits called rose hips, which are often tasty. The flowers have many symbolic meanings.
Whether the tomato is a fruit or vegetable depends on the way you look at it. Explore this topic from a chefs, nutritionists, botanists, horticulturists, traders, and other professional points of view
Plants are a beautiful part of nature, a benefit to life on earth. They affect the food supply and the air we breath. The Manchineel Tree is a poisonous example of plant life. Marked in the Guiness World Book of Records as the most dangerous tree on earth, one bite of its fruit may be fatal.
Pitcher plants produce cups that trap and digest prey. The digestive enzymes of one species can break down gluten and may help people with celiac disease.
Recent research has shown that four plant extracts inhibit the growth of some dangerous bacteria in the lab. Three of them may have been helpful during the American Civil War.
Most plants in the same family have similar characteristics. These similar characteristics can mostly be seen in their flowers.
Foxgloves are beautiful but poisonous flowers in the wild and in the garden. They contain digitalis, which is a useful heart medication but can also be dangerous.
Ice plant is a succulent that is common in Tenerife. It gets its name because of the tiny crystals that cover its leaves and stems.
Nature's ingenuity never ceases to amaze me! A seed pod can survive over 10 years, floating hundreds of miles, until taking root on an island's shore.
The bull thistle is that familiar plant, called a weed, that you see everywhere. Although not native to the US, it has been naturalized and its healthy benefits have been known for ages.
Portugal is wonderful for foraging because of the great diversity of edible plants that grow there. There are many herbs too that can be found growing wild, including fennel and milk thistle.
The carnauba palm and the candelilla shrub are interesting plants that produce a useful wax. Many people are exposed to carnauba or candelilla wax on a frequent basis via the products that they buy.
Buttercups and daisies are attractive wildflowers and a lovely part of summer. Daisies have edible parts that can be used in salads, but buttercups are toxic.
Find all about palm trees, how they grow, flower, fruit and the uses people make of these marvelous plants...
Rainforests are the natural world's powerhouse of diversity. Estimates of species numbers run as high as 50 million, and it is the trees that capture the energy that drives the forest...
The rainbow eucalyptus is an unusual tree with a beautiful, multicoloured trunk. The trunk's colours change as the tree sheds strips of bark, creating living art.
Western red cedar (or western redcedar) is a common and important tree in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The tree was once very significant in First Nations culture and has some interesting features.
Plants have a reputation for being motionless, passive, and boring. These 20 plants challenge this mundane stereotype.
Dr. Edwin A. Menninger introduced the flowering tree, the Tabebuia, to Stuart, Florida. Through his efforts, these trees have been planted along the streets. Every spring we are reminded of this man.
The fate of an American landmark is one of the saddest stories in recent history. The American Chestnut tree was an integral part of the forest landscape when settlers arrived on American shores. However after a airborne virus was introduced, the trees were wiped out by the billions.
The safflower plant provides a useful vegetable and cosmetic oil and attractive dyes for textiles. A genetically engineered form of the plant has made insulin.
Oregon grape is an attractive plant with edible berries. The plant contains berberine, which may have health benefits. Further research is needed to prove this.
Tomatoes are nutritious and have an interesting history, but they often lack flavor compared to ones in the past. A new discovery and other methods should provide tastier tomatoes.
Sunflowers are large, daisy-like flowers that open up to reveal hundreds of seeds in the middle. When you see a sunflower in your garden, you know that summer has finally arrived.
The Himalayan blackberry is a beautiful plant in spring and summer. It produces delicious blackberries, but it's an invasive species and grows aggressively.
Discover a side of Minnesota you might not know about: flowers! 11 flower images and information on what they are and where they grow, including a short video. Take a poll at the end to vote for your favorite.
The southwestern area of British Columbia in Canada has some beautiful wildflowers. In this article I include photos and descriptions of seven of my favourite spring blossoms.
What is pollination? How does pollination occur? Does pollen serve a useful purpose or does it just make people sneeze? What is the difference between self-pollination and cross-pollination? What are pollinators? These are some of the many questions gardeners, kids and others have about pollination.
At first glance a quaking aspen and white birch look almost identical. However, upon closer examination, the two stately trees are quite different.
To say there are quite a few different use of a coconut is a huge understatement, there are hundreds of uses of this fruit of the Palm Tree. Every part of the coconut and the tree has a purpose.
Still Creek in Burnaby Lake Regional Park is a lovely place to visit. Himalayan balsam grows on the land beside the creek. The plant is beautiful but often invasive.
Forsythia is an ornamental shrub that produces beautiful and abundant yellow flowers in late winter and early spring. The plant is named after William Forsyth, an eighteenth-century horticulturist.
This article summaries how the pineapple caused a sensation when introduced to Europeans in the late 1400s, and why the love and fascination for the fruit hasn't diminished to the present day.
This exotic pest has naturalized itself in Florida and is looking to spread to other parts of the country.
TheCereus repandus f. Monstrosa or Monstrose Apple Cactus as it is commonly known is found in gardens in Arizona and for a month in the Spring each year produces beautiful flowers, each lasting one day, for about a month.
I am in awe of our world of nature, particularly the tree kingdom. Visit any local arboretum and just experience them and you will think twice about the legacy you leave. Don't litter, be kind to the earth and appreciate what you have.
Salvias are a lovely,elegant, upright flower that hummingbirds love and bees find beneficial. They hail from all over the world and are full of surprises. Read on to find out more.
Arriving at work shortly after sunrise on a recent spring morning my wife noticed a beautiful white flower on one of the cacti in the gardens on the grounds where she works. Unlike many other species of cacti, such as the majestic saguaro or the...
Plants are equipped to adapt to environmental situations and stressors, just like humans. They also respond to tactile stimulation, but do plants actually have feelings?
A comparison of the early growth of beans (dicot) versus corn (monocot). Tim Downey As you undoubtedly know, flowering plants are frequently separated into two different classes: the dicots and monocots. Apart from some superficial differences, such...
Parasitic plants obtain their food or nutrients from another plant. The relationship may last for a long time, but sometimes the parasite kills its host.
Who doesn't love oak trees? They're big, beautiful, useful, and can live for hundreds of years. Here's a list of some, with pictures of bark and leaf descriptions to aid in identification. Happy oak hunting!
Pentas lanceolata also known as starflower, Egyptian star clusters, Egyptian star flower & Egyptian stars is grown as a ground cover plant. Do you know that this pentas plant is also a medicinal plant
This article deals with the characteristics of the three main types of oak trees - the white oak, the red oak and the black oak trees. Read on to find out more about these oak trees.
The differences between angiosperms and gymnosperms and their relationship to coniferous and deciduous plants.
This article provides a thorough history of Phylloxera including it's deadly effect on the grape and wine industries, how it spreads, possible ways to prevent an outbreak, and what a Phylloxera outbreak is capable of doing to your vinyard.
It is said that the “Speed” kills, but in terms of well-fed future and better plant’s productivity to survive drought conditions, then Speed is the key solution. The climate change and the growing human population have increased questions to future global food security.
Daffodils are beautiful and interesting flowers. They have some useful features but are also toxic. They are often used by cancer societies as a symbol of hope.
A humble, misunderstood, and unappreciated vegetable, the rutabaga needs a spin doctor to improve its image; I am not here to provide that service.
The dragon blood tree of Socotra Island has an unusual appearance. It secretes a red resin known as dragon's blood when its bark is injured. The resin is used in many ways.
Wild relatives of some major agricultural crops are in trouble, which could be a serious problem. The genetic diversity in wild crops may provide food security for the future.
Water hyacinth is a beautiful and invasive plant that causes major problems. It has the ability to act as a great biofuel, especially when combined with cow dung.
Have you ever seen how a cashew grows? When I first saw one, I was shocked. They don't grow like other nuts. The fruit of the cashew tree is a perfect fruit for juicing.
Maple trees belong to the genus Acer and family Sapindaceae. Maple trees are admired for their stunning display of fall leaf colors. This article is an in-depth look at the red maple, sugar maple, and silver maple trees.
The experiments prove that music increases the plant growth. The visible light and sound in electromagnetic spectrum increase the photosynthesis and get converted and stored as chemical energies....
The catnip herb has culinary uses and is also used in traditional medicine. Some cats become very excited when they smell the plant. Catmint plants are close relatives of catnip.
Jackfruit trees produce huge fruits. Cacao seeds are used to make cocoa, but the trees are in trouble. Jackfruit seed powder may be a good substitute for cocoa.
Dandelions have culinary benefits and also produce a latex that can be used to make rubber. This is important, since the supply of natural rubber is decreasing.
Mother Nature is repeating herself. Is she having senior moments? Losing her marbles? Learn more about plants and fungi that look like body parts: brains, fingers, toes, eyes, and private parts.
The emerald ash borer is an introduced insect in North America and is a very serious pest. At least sixty million ash trees have been destroyed so far by this beetle.
Learn how to identify species of palm trees can be very useful when deciding which species to plant in your area. By studying the characteristics and USDA Climate Zones, your garden can be an oasis.
Many crocuses bloom in the early spring and are a lovely sight. One type makes saffron. The toxic autumn crocus makes colchicine, which can act as a medicine.
Goat's rue contains a chemical called galegine. Studying galegine enabled scientists to create the medication known as metformin. Metformin has multiple mechanisms of action in the body.
Some carnivorous plants such as bromeliads and pitcher plants possess pools of liquid which they use as pitfall traps. Within these pools are rich communities of microbes and tiny invertebrate animals which have evolved to inhabit these pools.
You think your barbeque mushroom skewer is safe? Alright, it is. But those delicious caps have some pretty badass cousins.
The giant hogweed causes burns and blisters. Grapefruit juice interferes with many medicines. The chemicals that cause these effects are called furanocoumarins.
Many species of plants living in nutrient poor environments utilise animals such as insects to derive nutrients. A variety of trap designs for capturing and killing insects have evolved in plants.
For some duckweed is a menace, for others it's a Godsend. Here in Brazil, we have built duckweed ponds and are encouraging it to grow to use as an animal feed . This is just one of its many uses.
Are you sure your houseplants are not hearing and discussing you? Find out what facts will make you believe in it.
The largest leaves in the world belong to Raphia regalis, a species of Raffia Palm native to parts of Africa.
There are many different types of plants, ranging from grand trees to tiny algae. This is an overview with pictures.
Hellebores bloom in late winter and spring. Their flowers are a welcome sight in nature, gardens, and landscaped areas. Lenten and Christmas roses are types of hellebores.
Ferns are attractive plants with interesting features. They exist in both wild and cultivated forms. The western sword fern is a common plant in coastal British Columbia.
A detailed visual tour of the eukaryotic plant cell. Complete with videos, quizzes, links and summary tables. Excellent for A-level and higher.
Whether you love it, hate it, or don’t know much about it, marijuana is becoming a part of many American’s lives. It's legal in many states for medical and recreational usage.
Unripe lychees and ackee fruits contain toxins. Both fruits should be eaten only when ripe. In addition, it's very important that ripe ackee is prepared properly.
Horse chestnut trees are beautiful ornamental plants. They produce a nut-like seed called a conker that is used to play a traditional game known as conkers.
As summer approaches and people go hiking in the woods, it becomes necessary to be able to spot harmful plants that can ruin a vacation or day out
Dandelions are loved by some and disliked by others, as if their destiny was framed by divergent parallel universes. In what universe are you? You might think twice after reading this article.
This is a list of some of the endangered flowers in the world, some of which are no longer found in the wild and are cultivated and grown in botanical gardens for preservation into posterity.
Did you know that wild ginseng root can actually be found right here in America's national parks and private woodlands?
When we think of meat-eating plants, The Little Shop of Horrors often comes to mind, but there are many different carnivorous plants. Some "swallow," like Audrey II, others function differently.
Stem can be herbaceous and woody which is one of the main structural axes of a vascular plant. t is also an important part that holds the flowers and leaves of plants.