plants

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Largest Water Lily Species Hid in Plain Sight for 2 Centuries
Largest Water Lily
Was Hiding in Plain Sight
NEW STUDY

Largest Water Lily Was Hiding in Plain Sight

Study describes the massive Victoria boliviana, kept at a botanical garden in London since 1845

(Newser) - A royal botanical garden is just the place you'd expect to find the world's largest species of water lily. But until recently, officials at London's Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, were unaware that the species previously unknown to science, though well known to the indigenous peoples of the...

This Plant Is as Big as 20K Football Fields
This May Be Earth's
Largest Organism
in case you missed it

This May Be Earth's Largest Organism

A single Posidonia australis seagrass covers 77 square miles off western Australia

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered what is arguably the world's largest living organism, which is roughly the size of 20,000 football fields and about 4,500 years old. It's a seagrass known as Poseidon's ribbon weed, or Posidonia australis, which started as a seed spawned from two different...

Stress-Loving Plants May Hold Benefits for Us
Hardy Plant's Lesson: 
It Thrives Under Stress
new study

Hardy Plant's Lesson: It Thrives Under Stress

Researchers tap into its secrets, which could hold value amid climate change

(Newser) - No matter where they grow, most plants have a built-in mechanism that shuts down growth during periods of drought or other harsh conditions. Likewise, most plants will wither and die if those harsh conditions persist. This survival mechanism is controlled by abscisic acid, or ABA, a stress hormone. All land...

This Is the Source of All Weed
This Is the Source of All Weed
NEW STUDY

This Is the Source of All Weed

Study suggests cannabis was first grown in northwest China

(Newser) - Humans have been growing cannabis for 12,000 years, according to new research claiming to pinpoint where the first crops were developed. Scientists writing in Science Advances add 82 whole genomes of cannabis plants to the 28 already sequenced, determining the first Cannabis sativa plant was likely domesticated not in...

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...

It Killed the Dinosaurs, but Then It Gave Birth to Something Else

You can thank the Chicxulub impact for our modern rainforests: study

(Newser) - We owe a lot to the asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. For one thing, it gave us the lush tropical rainforests that help keep our planet healthy. That's according to a first-of-its-kind study published Friday in Science that looks at the effects of the...

Catnip Is Fun for Cats, but Also 'Functional'
Catnip Does More Than
Make Cats Loopy
NEW STUDY

Catnip Does More Than Make Cats Loopy

Study suggests it also offers protection from mosquitoes

(Newser) - You may soon come to love catnip as much as your cat. New research suggests the chemicals derived from catnip and silver vine, an even more potent plant that grows in the mountains of Japan and China, can ward off pesky mosquitoes. Masao Miyazaki, a biologist at Japan's Iwate...

We've Got Cadaver Dogs. Next Up: Cadaver Plants?
In Search for Human
Bodies, Plants May Be Key
NEW STUDY

In Search for Human Bodies, Plants May Be Key

Chemicals from decomposing remains may trigger visible changes in vegetation

(Newser) - Researchers are toying with a new idea that could transform grueling and expensive body-recovery missions, and it involves what you might call cadaver plants. Yes, plants. Neal Stewart, a biologist at the University of Tennessee, has long been interested in the ways plants sense and respond to stresses. Now, he...

You Can Name an Extinct Animal. How About a Plant?
Study Raises Alarming Stat
About the World's Plants
study says

Study Raises Alarming Stat About the World's Plants

Researchers say at least 571 species have disappeared in 250 years, far more than animals

(Newser) - "Most people can name a mammal or bird that has become extinct in recent centuries, but few can name an extinct plant," says Aleys Humphreys, co-author of a gloomy new study on the fate of the planet's plants. Here, then, are three plants that have disappeared in...

Drone Makes Stunning Find on Hazardous Cliff Face
Where No One Will
Go, Drone Makes
Stunning Find
in case you missed it

Where No One Will Go, Drone Makes Stunning Find

The 'Hibiscadelphus woodii' was considered extinct

(Newser) - A drone hovering near a Hawaiian cliff face spotted something the world considered gone: a flower. And it wasn't even in bloom. In January, drone flyer Ben Nyberg noticed three Hibiscadelphus woodii plants on a cliff where specialists are known to rappel down vertical faces for threatened plant species,...

Researchers Find Trick to Growing Tastier Basil

24-hour light is the key, say MIT researchers

(Newser) - Researchers at MIT say they've figured out how to grow the tastiest basil: Expose the plant to light 24 hours a day. The nugget comes out of a project in which scientists grew the herb in a shipping container, a controlled environment that allowed them to precisely monitor every...

7 Plants That Could Save You From Hunger

Stuck in the wild without food? Look down

(Newser) - Don't pull a Michael Scott and eat the first mushroom you find if you're stuck in the wilderness without food. To help you make it out alive, Live Science rounds up the most common edible plants found in the continental US. Luckily, they cover a variety of landscapes,...

Parsnip's Poisonous Cousin Burns Woman

Invasive plant blamed for injuries comparable to second-degree burns in Vermont

(Newser) - A woman was left with severe burns and blisters on her legs after encountering an invasive species of plant in Vermont, reports the AP . Charlotte Murphy says she developed painful blisters overnight after brushing against "poison parsnip," which Live Science explains is a wild version of the common...

'Horror Plant' Discovered in Another US State

Giant hogweed, which can cause severe burns and blindness, has spread to Virginia

(Newser) - What ScienceAlert calls a "giant horror plant" has made its way to yet another US state, and people who come in contact with it could feel the pain. Virginia Tech's Massey Herbarium tweeted last week it had IDed a giant hogweed (aka Heracleum mantegazzianum) plant in Clarke County,...

By This New Measure, Plants Rule the Earth
By This New Measure,
Plants Rule the Earth
NEW STUDY

By This New Measure, Plants Rule the Earth

They outweigh all other life on the planet, by a mile

(Newser) - A first-of-its-kind study reveals that humans make up a minuscule portion of life on the planet. As in 0.01%, reports the Guardian . The flip side of that? Despite the scant figure, humans have reshaped the animal kingdom, helping wipe out about 83% of mammals and half of all plants...

Palm Trees in Canada? It Could Happen in 'Decades'
Palm Trees Are on
a Mission Northward
new study

Palm Trees Are on a Mission Northward

Cold-tolerant species could reach northern US, Canada in 'decades'

(Newser) - Utah, Ohio, and Canada might soon be dotted with palm trees—because welcome to climate change. Following a 2007 study that found palm trees in the foothills of the Swiss Alps, an international team of researchers set out to learn how cold is too cold for palm trees. Upon surveying...

A New Study Just Rewrote the History Book on Plants

Study suggests they appeared 500M years ago, or 100M years earlier than believed

(Newser) - The arrival of plants on Earth changed the planet and its inhabitants in big ways, and a new study suggests they arrived far earlier than thought. University of Bristol researchers now say that land plants evolved from pond scum about 500 million years ago—a whopping 100 million years earlier...

Scientists Create World's First True-Blue Mum
Scientists Just Achieved
'Holy Grail' of Plant Breeding
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Scientists Just Achieved 'Holy Grail' of Plant Breeding

Japanese team engineers the first blue chrysanthemum

(Newser) - A development of "great impact" has been made in the world of flowers—specifically among chrysanthemums, which researchers have just turned a true-blue hue for the first time, per Science . The magazine explains that vibrant blue flowers are hard to find in nature—only a few species exist, and...

Simple Trick May Help Plants Survive Drought
Simple Trick May Help
Plants Survive Drought
NEW STUDY

Simple Trick May Help Plants Survive Drought

The effect was seen in rice, wheat, corn, and more

(Newser) - As the climate warms, scientists are conducting experiments around the world to try to boost drought resistance in a wide range of crops. But a study out of the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan is especially promising because the key ingredient helping a wide range of crops...

Naked Mole Rats Can Do What No Other Vertebrate Can

Oxygen deprivation? Bring it

(Newser) - Scientists already know enough about naked mole rats to put them in the "strange" category. The hairless ground-dwelling wonders are notable for being cold-blooded mammals that are practically immune to cancer and far outlive other rodents, reports Science Daily . Now scientists say they've observed the creatures surviving without...

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