Articles on Plants

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Idiospermum is otherwise known as “idiot fruit” or ribbonwood. via Wikimedia Commons

It’s hard to spread the idiot fruit

In a few idyllic parts of Queensland grows the idiot fruit, a tall tree with intricate flowers and some of the largest seeds in Australia.
To grow tall enough to reach the canopy, a species of screw pine unique to Lord Howe Island has evolved its own rainwater harvesting system. Matthew Biddick, CC BY-SA

The Lord Howe screw pine is a self-watering island giant

How a species of screw pine unique to Lord Howe Island has evolved its own rainwater harvesting system that allows it to grow tall.
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.

How the Wardian case revolutionised the plant trade – and Australian gardens

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.
Berzelia stokoei, one of the 3% of plants in South Africa that are found nowhere else in the world. Marinda Koekemoer

Why plants need an identity

There is good news for plant conservation in South Africa and internationally.
Different kinds of plants make different kinds of seeds. Some seeds grow into trees and other seeds grow into other kinds of plants. www.shutterstock.com

Curious Kids: Where did trees come from?

Trees evolved many times around the world.
The leaves of most plants are green because the leaves are full of green chemicals. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: Why are leaves green?

This is an article from Curious Kids, a series for children. The Conversation is asking kids to send in questions they’d like an expert to answer. All questions are welcome – serious, weird or wacky! Why…

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