Matchstick banksia (
Banksia cuneate). There are only about 500 of these plants left in the wild at 11 different sites, with much of its habitat having been historically cleared for agriculture.
Andrew Crawford/Threatened Species Hub
A recent global survey found almost 600 plants have gone extinct. And this figure is likely to be an underestimate.
The short answer is that leaves fall off trees when they aren’t doing their job any more.
Emily Nunell/The Conversation CC-NY-BD
Leaves fall off trees when they aren’t doing their job any more. If there isn’t enough water, the leaf can be damaged and stop working.
In Australia you can have any tree you want, as long as it’s a eucalypt.
Eucalypts have been in Australia for 45 million years. But hundreds of species appeared more recently than previously thought.
This guinea flower is called ‘fierce’ after its sharp, painful needles.
The guinea flower grows right across Australia.
There are over 100 species of wild coffee, but only a few supply the world's morning caffeine kick. Sadly, climate change and disease could be about to change that.
Mamsizz via Shutterstock
Archaeologists have found cloves and black pepper corns they believe to be more than 1,000 years old at a site in Sri Lanka.
Some sneaky plants steal food instead of exclusively making their own.
Since plants can't pick up and move to greener pastures if conditions are tough, some have evolved interesting and sneaky strategies to make a living.
South African Tourism/Flickr
Plant blindness can be solved but it wont be easy.
Melburnians admire the first primrose to arrive in the colony, transported by a Wardian case, in Edward Hopley’s A Primrose from England, circa 1855.
Bendigo Art Gallery, Gift of Mr and Mrs Leonard Lansell 1964.
A wood and glass case invented in the early 19th-century transformed the movement of plants around the world. In Melbourne, several thousand people greeted a primrose on its arrival from England.
Sandpaper figs are the swiss army knife of Australian flora.
The Bunya pine is a unique and majestic Australian tree that commands respect.
A shepherd with his flock in the Netherlands.
Humans have long been trying differentiate themselves from the rest of the biological world. Is it because we're superior, or just insecure?
Flowers above, traps below.
Venus flytrap plants have 'traps' that snap shut on insect prey. But they also rely on insects for pollination. New research suggests how the plant avoids eating its allies.
Mueller came to Australia in the mid 19th century - and gave women a rare opportunity to be involved in science.
We often focus on the “science” part of citizen science. The “citizen” is important as well. It reminds us that we are part of something greater than ourselves, with a duty to generations to come.
Detail from Rachel Ruysch, Still life with flowers in a glass vase, 1716, oil on canvas, 48.5 x 39.5 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
During her lifetime, the paintings of Dutch artist Rachel Ruysch sold for higher prices than those of Rembrandt. Why, then, have her talents not been more widely acknowledged in the centuries since?
Though not this obvious from the outside, plants are keeping time.
Precisely calibrated timekeepers are found in organisms from all domains of life. Biologists are studying how they influence plant/pathogen interactions – what they learn could lead to human medicines.
Ferns are a very old group of plants that came along more than 200 million years before the dinosaurs walked the earth.
Marcella Cheng/The Conversation
Ferns came along more than 200 million years before the dinosaurs walked the Earth. They were food for plant-eating dinosaurs and they're really great survivors. Heather, age 8, wants to know more.
Spend many months attached to the ISS and see how well you grow.
If you want to live on Mars, you're going to need to grow food. Seeds are naturally equipped to handle challenging Earth environments, but how well can they survive what they'll encounter off-planet?
Plants make proteins based on whatever genetic material you give them.
Carl Davies, CSIRO
Inserting a random DNA mishmash into a plant or bacterium directs it to make a novel protein. Sifting through the resulting molecules, researchers may find ones have medical or agricultural uses.
Peacock butterfly (Inachis io) photographed at Thésée-la-Romaine, France.
Daniel Jolivet / Flickr
The caterpillar and the butterfly: two forms, a single individual? A biologist and a philosopher explore this paradox.