botany

9 Stories

Matt Damon's Martian Hero Gets His Own Plant

Solanum watneyi even thrives in red soil

(Newser) - Matt Damon's character in The Martian made botanists look like rock stars, which, shockingly, doesn't happen very often. The reward for the fictional Mark Watney: There's now a plant named after him, reports Time . Chris Martine of Bucknell University found a bush tomato plant in Australia and... More »

World's '1st Flower' Dates Back 130M Years

The oldest known flowering plant, found in Spain, was aquatic

(Newser) - The world's oldest known flower dating back 130 million years is an aquatic species called Montsechia found fossilized in limestone deposits in Spain. But it wouldn't necessarily be recognized as a flower today, given it didn't boast petals or nectar-producing structures. "The fruit contains a single... More »

Jane Goodall Borrowed Text From Wikipedia

Author apologizes for verbatim passages in new book

(Newser) - Renowned chimp expert Jane Goodall took some passages in her upcoming co-written book almost directly from a range of Internet sources, including Wikipedia, the Washington Post reports. The author has apologized for the unattributed text. "I am distressed to discover that some of the excellent and valuable sources were... More »

How Darwin's Island Might Help Colonize Mars

Little-known experiment provides a lesson

(Newser) - When Charles Darwin came to Ascension Island—an insanely remote volcanic rock in the middle of the Atlantic—it was utterly barren and desolate, bedeviled by dry trade winds from southern Africa. So the legendary scientist embarked on one of his most remarkable, and least heralded experiments. With the help... More »

Giant 'Corpse Flower' Ready to Bloom

What stinks? The titan arum at Western Illinois University

(Newser) - A huge flower that recalls the age of the dinosaurs and stinks to the high heavens will bloom this week at Western Illinois University. The titum arum, one of only a small number of such plants blooming in cultivation, grew 4 inches in 24 hours in preparation. It's expected to... More »

Plants Warn Each Other: Study

(Newser) - They can't quite tweet, but plants have sophisticated means of communication nonetheless, reports the Telegraph . A new study suggests they use complex chemical signals to discuss both predators and pollinators. In one test, sagebrush shrubs whose neighbors had their leaves clipped, as if by grasshoppers, appeared to grow more... More »

Plagiarism Case Evolves Against Darwin

Analysts spark furor by saying he stole theory of evolution

(Newser) - As Darwin fans gear up for the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species, some analysts are calling the renowned naturalist a cheat, the Wall Street Journal reports. Alfred Russel Wallace is widely considered the co-founder of evolutionary theory, but some revisionists say Darwin cribbed the notion from Wallace.... More »

Italian Cooks Up Eggplant and Tomato Tree

Hardy hybrid said to yield better produce than nature intended

(Newser) - A Sicilian amateur botanist claims to have developed a plant hybrid that functions as the world’s first tomato/eggplant tree, ANSA reports. Taking advantage of the fact that all three share the same genus, Giuseppe Marino grafted tomato and eggplant tissue onto a devil’s fig shrub, a hardy plant... More »

New 'University' Goes to Pot

Oaksterdam U. preps students for the medical marijuana industry

(Newser) - It's sort of a slacker's med school: An Oakland activist started Oaksterdam University to train students to work in the medical marijuana industry, reports NPR. Oaksterdam offers a single $75 course, which teaches students about pot's political and legal history as well as the botany of the much-loved herb. "... More »

9 Stories

AROUND THE WEB