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Moa's Ark

Moa’s Ark (1990) [more inside]
posted by Start with Dessert on Jun 29, 2014 - 3 comments

Mutato

Perhaps you would like many pictures of mutant vegetables, or a look back on how animals have been perceived or a short guide to the museum of supernatural history. If so, Uli Westphal has you covered.
posted by frimble on Feb 26, 2014 - 7 comments

a leap between kingdoms is not an everyday event

Suspicious Virus Makes Rare Cross-Kingdom Leap From Plants to Honeybees
When HIV jumped from chimpanzees to humans sometime in the early 1900′s, it crossed a gulf spanning several million years of evolution. But tobacco ringspot virus, scientists announced last week, has made a jump that defies credulity. It has crossed a yawning chasm ~1.6 billion years wide.
posted by andoatnp on Jan 31, 2014 - 37 comments

Looking Deep Inside Nature

X-ray photography of plants and animals by physicist Arie van’t Riet. [via]
posted by brundlefly on Jan 27, 2014 - 5 comments

New Frontiers In Science

Can plants think? Michael Pollan asks the question. (SLNewYorker)
posted by Diablevert on Dec 23, 2013 - 75 comments

Video Game Foliage

Video Game Foliage. "Making spaces for games is a strange and interesting art. Not being bound by physical limitations makes it possible to create impossible structures, but being bound by the technical limitations of modern computer graphics makes it difficult to create accurate simulacra of even simple objects. So video games cheat, using approximations to create the desired aesthetic result. Plant approximations are especially hard, since organic structures tend to be difficult to describe in terms that graphics cards understand. This creates an interesting design constraint. How do you create representations of plants given the limitations of realtime rendering? I plan to use this blog to show a bunch of games that choose different answers to this question. I hope you’ll join me in looking into the weird world of video game foliage." [more inside]
posted by kmz on Dec 19, 2013 - 31 comments

Your wildflower search engine.

Search for wildflowers by location, color, flower shape, flower size and time of blooming. 3,126 plants indexed. This web site helps those of us with limited knowledge of botany to identify flowering plants that are found outside of gardens. This help is provided by presenting you with small images of plants. You can use a number of search techniques to get to the images that are most likely the plant you are looking for. When you click on a plant image the program shows you links to plant descriptions and more plant images. The site has about 5 ways of searching for a plant. You can use these searches in any combination. Some searches eliminate some plants from consideration. Most searches give a "score" to each plant depending on how well the plant matches the search criteria. The plants with the highest score are displayed at the top of the results. Click here for Instructions. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jun 5, 2013 - 21 comments

One genome, two plants

Mosses Make Two Different Plants From the Same Genome, and a Single Gene Can Make the Difference
One of the most astonishing secrets in biology is this: every plant you see makes two different plants from the same genome. And, scientists recently reported, a single gene from an ancient, powerful lineage can make the difference.

posted by Joe in Australia on May 12, 2013 - 24 comments

So this is what it's like to be eaten by a plant

How would you like to go on a mindbending 3D journey into the devouring maws of four different carnivorous plants? [more inside]
posted by prize bull octorok on Mar 29, 2013 - 12 comments

Between Two Gagas

You might have heard of Masiakasaurus knopfleri, the dinosaur named in honor of Dire Straits singer/guitarist Mark Knopfler. You may not have realized just how many organisms are named after celebrities great and small. Well, today, you can include a new genus of ferns, which includes 19 species, all named for the pop star, Lady Gaga. Despite appearances to the contrary, the announcement video is not a hoax. Watch the video for all the fabulous synchronicities, including a secret surprise hidden in the DNA.
posted by symbioid on Oct 24, 2012 - 15 comments

The Puzzle of Plastid Evolution

The Puzzle of Plastid Evolution: A comprehensive understanding of the origin and spread of plastids remains an important yet elusive goal in the field of eukaryotic evolution. Combined with the discovery of new photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic protist lineages, the results of recent taxonomically broad phylogenomic studies suggest that a re-shuffling of higher-level eukaryote systematics is in order. Consequently, new models of plastid evolution involving ancient secondary and tertiary endosymbioses are needed to explain the full spectrum of photosynthetic eukaryotes. [Full Text HTML] [Full Text PDF] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 20, 2012 - 8 comments

We don't need your braaaaaaains

Fans of flora versus undead violence rejoice! Plants versus Zombies 2 has been announced for Spring 2013. However all is not well at PopCap games, with a recent layoff of 50 employees, or 10% of its staff, citing the increased popularity of Free-to-play, social and mobile games. Somewhat stickily amongst those reported laid off was Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan.
posted by Artw on Aug 23, 2012 - 27 comments

"Nature means necessity."

First Evidence Found for Photosynthesis in Insects: [nature.com] "The biology of aphids is bizarre: they can be born pregnant and males sometimes lack mouths, causing them to die not long after mating. In an addition to their list of anomalies, work published this week indicates that they may also capture sunlight and use the energy for metabolic purposes."
posted by Fizz on Aug 18, 2012 - 26 comments

Fascinating time lapse movies of molds and fungi

"This gallery contains time lapse movies of fungi, molds, bacteria, slime molds and insects of interest to plant pathologists." Be sure and check out the peach and plum, Homer Simpson growing "hair", a rotting book and mushrooms growing and dying.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 29, 2012 - 22 comments

Notes from dreamworlds

Microworlds is the blog of biology student Daniel Stoupin, and he also has a photography website as well. His chosen subject is microphotography, especially of living things. Perhaps the best place to start is his latest post, where he uses fluorescent dyes to take pictures of a rotting flea embryo. Other favorites are shells of microscopic crustaceans, colorful plant seed fluorescence and mosquito larva in polarized light. He has also made a video, and explains the process here.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 27, 2012 - 15 comments

(◡ ‿ ◡ ✿)

The Fungarium & The Millenium Seed Bank Partnership:
A Pair of 5-minute Documentaries on the Research Institutions at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London. (Previously 1 , Previously 2)
posted by lemuring on Mar 23, 2012 - 4 comments

Get a load of these cuties

Design Decoded, a new blog on Smithsonian.com, kicks off with a seven part series on the century-long process behind creating and marketing the perfect citrus. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 17, 2012 - 10 comments

Spring Has Sprung

In 2003 a building housing the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (MMHC) was slated for demolition to make way for updated facilities. Artist Anna Schuleit was commissioned to memorialize its rich history. Schuleit: The concept for Bloom came to me as a site-specific installation to mark the transition of the life and history of the institution toward its closure, from its physical state to the remembered with 28,000 potted flowering plants. More images available here.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Mar 13, 2012 - 14 comments

Galanthomania

Snowdrops, or Galanthus, are those little white flowers you often see in the early Spring, sometimes poking up from under the snow. At first glance, they're charming, but not terrifically interesting. Galanthophiles of the world think otherwise. [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Mar 4, 2012 - 15 comments

"I think that it is dead"

Gardening Facepalm Their hearts are in the right place, but this is not how you do it.
posted by swooz on Feb 11, 2012 - 36 comments

If a woman has difficulty in giving birth, thae the plant we call pasticanna sivatica, simmer it in water, and give it so that she can bathe herself with it. She will be healed.

Illustrations of Carrots in Ancient Manuscripts [more inside]
posted by timshel on Feb 5, 2012 - 36 comments

How the Potato Changed the World

Charles C. Mann on How the Potato Changed the World. Photo Gallery. Video. Alfred Crosby Interviewed on the Columbian Exchange.
posted by Rumple on Oct 22, 2011 - 38 comments

Though the mountains divide and the oceans are wide...

Since 1977, Nikon has held a Small World Photomicrography Competition, to showcase that which cannot be seen with the naked eye. This year's winner will be announced in November, but until October 31, we have been invited to vote for one of this years' 115 finalists to receive the 'Small World Popular Vote Award.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 26, 2011 - 13 comments

Arboreal Art in Nature

"Magnificent and Weird Trees" Also see, Living, Growing Architecture.
posted by zarq on Jul 10, 2011 - 18 comments

10 Creepy Plants That Shouldn't Exist

10 Creepy Plants That Shouldn't Exist
posted by shivohum on Apr 29, 2011 - 45 comments

A resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants.

There are over 20,000 species of edible plants in the world yet fewer than 20 species now provide 90% of our food. Over ten years ago, Ken Fern began compiling a database, which currently consists of approximately 7000 species of plants.
In Plants for a Future are listed ( among others) The edibles; and a plant Top 20 as well as the Top Rated Medicinal Plants.
There is also a documentary and a book which is reviewed here.
posted by adamvasco on Feb 5, 2011 - 20 comments

Medium phobic

“When I was a kid growing up I was obsessed with animals and monsters… I’d draw them everyday, and when I grew up I either wanted to be a zoologist or a monster hunter… When I got a bit older I realized that being a zoologist was less exciting than I had imagined, and that ‘monster hunter’ isn’t even a real job, so I just kept drawing. I pretty much do the exact same thing at 29 years old that I did when I was 9 years old.” Nicholas Di Genova weaves organisms together in pen and ink. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Dec 8, 2010 - 11 comments

The Flat Venus Society in Library Assessment; promoting accuracy in [reporting of] numbers

The Galaxy Garden is a 100-foot diameter outdoor scale model of the Milky Way, mapped in living plants and flowers and based on current astrophysical data. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Nov 28, 2010 - 11 comments

Wild plants of Japan

Various Japanese plants (and fungi) spring to life in Omni/ScienceNet's "Action Plant" series of time-lapse videos shot in Kōchi prefecture.
posted by gman on Nov 9, 2010 - 3 comments

plants in sanskrit poetry

Seasonal Poetry in Sanskrit : The blog Sanskrit Literature has been running an excellent series on plants that appear in sanskrit poetry. Some examples : Jasmine (malati), Lotuses and Water Lilies, Mango.
posted by dhruva on Nov 2, 2010 - 6 comments

"...endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."

Our minds boggle at how the wolf could become the chihuahua, the Saint Bernard, the poodle and the Komondor. Artificial selection was likewise responsible for transforming the humble wild mustard plant Brassica oleracea into cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and the breathtaking fractal Romanesco, all in the span of a few centuries. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Aug 23, 2010 - 54 comments

Lois, you're a tease. And you stink.

During the past 4 days, the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science has stayed open 24 hours to accommodate the record crowds filing into the museum at all hours. Why? A rare Amorphophallus titanium, aka “Corpse Flower,” named Lois is finally about to bloom. Now, Lois is not your average, run-of-the-mill stinky plant. Only 28 Corpse Flowers have bloomed in the US, so Lois has become a local celebrity with her own blog, Flickr feed, live webcam and cupcakes. She even has her own playlist, with songs such as “That Smell” by Lynyrd Skynrd, “I’m Comin’ Out” by Diana Ross and the classic “Smelly Cat” by Phoebe from Friends. And like any trendy Corpse Flower, Lois also has her own Twitter account. She's also a bit of a diva. Yet despite predictions, Lois still hasn't bloomed as of Wednesday morning. In response, Lois makes excuses, bad jokes, complaints and snarky comments.
posted by yeoja on Jul 14, 2010 - 30 comments

The Green Hell Lives

Kudzu, Pueraria lobata, may be causing double the emission of nitric oxide, and increases ozone pollution in areas it has overgrown, a recent study has shown. [more inside]
posted by strixus on May 17, 2010 - 33 comments

I am immortal, I have inside me five thousand rings

It sprang to life sometime in the 3rd millennium, outliviving the kingdoms of ancient Egypt, it survived six of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and it's older than Judaism. It survived 5,000 years (give or take a few hundred), and was cut down in 1964 by Donald Currey, a graduate student in geography. He was studying the Little Ice Age (prev), and he was looking for an old Bristlecone pine in the White-Inyo mountain range of California (prev), as a record for climatic conditions from that period. As that tree, nicknamed Prometheus, is no longer living, the record for oldest tree goes to a tree from the same stand, Methuselah. If trees aren't your thing, there are quite a few long-living organisms of other sorts. For more fun and photos, join Rachel Sussman on her journey to photograph them. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 4, 2010 - 43 comments

Avatar tree not so alien

The ID system lies in the roots and the chemical cues they secrete. Scientists have found that plants will determine if their neighbors are siblings/family and if so, will not complete for resources as aggressively . [more inside]
posted by Eicats on Apr 28, 2010 - 18 comments

Plant Sex.

Pollen, pollen everywhere. The article isn't bad, but it's the photo gallery that is truly fascinating.
posted by eleyna on Nov 24, 2009 - 18 comments

Giant 'meat-eating' plant produces traps big enough to catch rodents

A giant carnivorous plant found only in Mount Victoria, Palawan in the Philippines, has been named Nepenthes attenboroughii, after renowned British naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.
posted by Lush on Aug 12, 2009 - 33 comments

Casual? tower defense

Plants vs. Zombies is out. (Mac also). Demo available. $10 on Steam. Adorable promo music video. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal on May 8, 2009 - 69 comments

Self-Irrigating Planter Resources

Summer's coming! The tried-and-true food growing tool of the aspiring urban agriculturalist: self-irrigating planters. Make or buy one of these things and vegetable container gardening is a breeze. [more inside]
posted by aniola on Apr 9, 2009 - 13 comments

Time-lapse plants

So bored you could watch plants grow? Okay, start with Corn [0:35] and Radishes [0:46]. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Mar 25, 2009 - 25 comments

Expand Your Plant Knowledge

Whether you're a casual cultivator or gardening guru, PlantCare.com has a wealth of information about the care and feeding of indoor and outdoor plants. You can search the extensive plant database to find information on thousands of house plants, participate in and discuss your favorite gardening topics in the plant forum, and expand your plant knowledge with hundreds of gardening tips and guides.
posted by netbros on Feb 25, 2009 - 10 comments

Nicotiana alata, up close and personal

Three scanning electron microscope images of the plant Nicotiana alata.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 29, 2009 - 47 comments

Brown thumb no more!

Now even your plants can twitter you. Awesome!
posted by miss lynnster on Jan 26, 2009 - 34 comments

I know you're waiting for the rain to come by -- Plant Information Online

Planning next spring's garden? Just curious about plants? Then check out Plant Information Online, which "provides access to: Current Plant and Seed Sources for 107,631 plants... from 1,054 North American firms that will ship plants; Contact information and links... for 2,448 North American retail and wholesale seed and nursery firms; Bibliographic details for 377,083 images of 140,104 wild and cultivated plants from around the world in botanical and horticultural books and magazines from 1982 to the present; and links to expert-selected sites on growing plants in your region of Canada or the US." (Description from website.)
posted by cog_nate on Nov 4, 2008 - 5 comments

All Night Long

MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for later use. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Aug 1, 2008 - 52 comments

Lilacs

They are members of the olive family, among the earliest flowering plants imported to the United States. Planted near the front doors of flat, bare early Colonial house facades, they helped to create "dooryard gardens," which softened and brought beauty to a rough-hewn early America. Jefferson planted them; at Monticello, some of those bushes still bloom.. They gave Pan his pipes. They are employed as evocative symbols in American literature, song, and poetry, where they symbolize the sensuousness of love in its earliest stages. Festivals celebrate their blooming, and NOAA tracks the earliest leaves and flowers for evidence of climate change. The inability to smell it may be an early indication of Alzheimer's disease. No wonder people like to steal them.
posted by Miko on May 23, 2008 - 31 comments

Now wait just a cotton-pickin' minute

"King Cotton" created a huge demand for land and (slave) labor that changed early America's borders, population, and economics. But just as cotton affected history, history affected cotton: the story of naturally colored cottons -- brown, green, yellow, mauve, and reddish cottons -- has almost been lost. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl on May 9, 2008 - 16 comments

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.

Blooming is booming. Whether you prefer DIY or professionals, knowing what to plant and when can be daunting...unless you've got some really excellent websites on your side. And you do! Plantwire will help you find plants through conventional search, tags, or even by colour. Fine Gardening Magazine's site has much to offer: how-to section with videos, design ideas, and a fabulous plant guide. Garden Simply can help you achieve sustainable, organic gardening. Garden and Flower has several convenient guides on how to achieve gardening nirvana - including butterfly garden essentials! [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Mar 28, 2008 - 20 comments

I soon found myself observing when plants first blossomed and leafed

Thoreau was into it. Scientists are using it to understand climate change. When Project Budburst starts again on Febraury 15th, you can participate, too. [more inside]
posted by Tehanu on Jan 27, 2008 - 15 comments

Language, biodiversity, and a story of salvation

Don Berto’s Garden. "The plants of the ancient Maya whisper their secrets to those who speak a shared language."
posted by homunculus on Oct 28, 2007 - 7 comments

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