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Articles on Botany

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Caley’s grevillea (Grevillea caleyi) occurs in Sydney. It needs fire to germinate but burns are hard to carry out near urban areas. Tony Auld

The 50 beautiful Australian plants at greatest risk of extinction — and how to save them

Many threatened plant species aren’t being targeted for conservation. Identifying which are closest to being lost forever is the first step to protect them.
Longleaf pines support one another through mycorrhizae – mutually beneficial relationships between certain fungi and the trees’ roots. Justin Meissen/Flickr

Plants thrive in a complex world by communicating, sharing resources and transforming their environments

We may think of plants as passive life forms, but they can cooperate, share resources, send one another warnings, and distance themselves from their communities when survival depends on it.
Need a handkerchief? Num LP Photo/Shutterstock

Why do onions make you cry?

Like many plants, onions have defenses to ward off creatures that may want to eat them. Their secret weapon is a kind of natural tear gas.
A mast year can be a squirrel’s dream come true. Editor77/Shutterstock.com

Tons of acorns? It must be a mast year

Masting is what biologists call the pattern of trees for miles around synchronizing to all produce lots of seeds – or very few. Why and how do they get on schedule?

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