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Seeds Secretly Buried in 1879 Just Gave Us an 'Amazing Moment'

Seeds hidden in Michigan State experiment are still sprouting after 142 years

(Newser) - The world's longest-running seed experiment is still giving up greenery. A group of seeds buried in a secret spot at Michigan State University in 1879 have begun sprouting after they were dug up and planted in mid-April. The first sprouted April 23—"an amazing moment," per botany...

New Database Gives Tree Scientists an Important First

They know how many different species exist: about 60K

(Newser) - Tree lovers, take note: A new database called GlobalTreeSearch has for the first time provided a tally of all the world's tree species. The answer: 60,065. Scientists from Botanic Gardens Conservation International in the UK spent two years compiling the database, relying on information from 500 published sources...

A Giant Secret in Queen's Garden: 2 'Extinct' Trees

Few knew how to identify rare Wentworth elms

(Newser) - Botanists were sure that the Wentworth elm had gone extinct as part of a mass die-off of elm trees in the UK in the 1970s. Soaring 100 feet in the air in the garden of none other than Queen Elizabeth was proof to the contrary. Two botanists say they've...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Plants Warn Each Other: Study
 Plants Warn Each Other: Study 

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...

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....

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...

New 'University' Goes to Pot
New 'University' Goes to Pot

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. "...

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