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  • April 4, 2017
  • 06:00 PM
  • 135 views

New rice fights off drought

by adam phillips in It Ain't Magic

Researchers have created drought resistant transgenic rice using a gene from a small Eurasian flowering plant.... Read more »

  • March 31, 2017
  • 07:00 AM
  • 171 views

Friday Fellow: Mexican Giant Horsetail

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll If you are walking through the forest of Central America, you may end up finding something that at first you could think is a group of bamboos, plants growing as a cylindrical segmented stem that can … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 24, 2017
  • 07:00 AM
  • 178 views

Friday Fellow: Divergent Dinobryon

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Let’s return once more to the troublesome and neglected protists. This time I’m bringing you another tiny but beautiful alga, more precisely a golden alga. Its name is Dinobryon divergens and as usual there is no common … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 10, 2017
  • 05:00 AM
  • 274 views

Friday Fellow: Paraná pine

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll As the first conifer Friday Fellow, I decided to choose one of my beloved ones, the Paraná pine, Araucaria angustifolia, also known as Brazilian pine or candelabra tree. The Paraná pine can reach up to 50 m … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 20, 2017
  • 05:00 AM
  • 329 views

Friday Fellow: Giant Kelp

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll This week we’ll stay in the sea and meet on of the most impressive algae, the giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera. It is called giant for a good reason, since it can grow up to 50 m in … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 30, 2016
  • 05:00 AM
  • 361 views

Friday Fellow: Peacock Spikemoss

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll This is the last Friday Fellow of the year and I decided to choose a beautiful and little known plant, the peacock spikemoss, more commonly known as Willdenow’s spikemoss or peacock fern, and scientifically known as Selaginella … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 23, 2016
  • 05:00 AM
  • 323 views

Friday Fellow: Christmas Wreath Lichen

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Celebrating Christmas (or whatever you call this time of the year), today’s Friday Fellow is another lichen. And the reason I chose it is because it is known as Christmas wreath lichen due to its red … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 16, 2016
  • 05:00 AM
  • 398 views

Friday Fellow: Common Stonewort

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll It’s always hard to introduce a less charismatic species here. Not because they are less interesting to me, but because I cannot find good information available. But I try to do my best to show all … Continue reading →... Read more »

Ariosa, Y., Quesada, A., Aburto, J., Carrasco, D., Carreres, R., Leganes, F., & Fernandez Valiente, E. (2004) Epiphytic Cyanobacteria on Chara vulgaris Are the Main Contributors to N2 Fixation in Rice Fields. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 70(9), 5391-5397. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.70.9.5391-5397.2004  

  • December 12, 2016
  • 03:16 PM
  • 606 views

Bacteria Help Pitcher Plants Trap Prey

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Pity the insect that tumbles into a pitcher plant's trap. The slippery walls and waiting pool of water ensure it won't clamber back out. There's nothing left to do but wait to be digested.

The California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica) is also called the cobra lily for its curled-over shape that hides its exit from its victims. Unlike other pitcher plants, it doesn't fill its trap from above with rainwater but from below, drawing water up with its roots. But like others, it seems... Read more »

  • December 2, 2016
  • 06:18 AM
  • 388 views

Friday Fellow: Indian shot

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Today’s Friday Fellow may not seem to be such an astonishing plant, but it has its peculiarities, some of them quite interesting. Commonly known as Indian shot, African arrowroot, purple arrowroot, and many other names, it … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 11, 2016
  • 04:00 AM
  • 283 views

Friday Fellow: Wheel Necklace Diatom

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Most of you likely know what diatoms are, microscopic algae with a silica shell that are very abundant in the world’s oceans and one of the main oxygen producers. You may have seen images like the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 4, 2016
  • 05:00 AM
  • 443 views

Friday Fellow: Silvergreen Moss

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Found throughout most of the world, you probably have encountered this fellow many times in your life, but did not pay any attention. After all, it is just a moss! Scientifically known as Bryum argenteum and popularly … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • November 1, 2016
  • 11:00 AM
  • 274 views

Giant pumpkins and other massive fruits

by Alice Breda in la-Plumeria

In the form of a creepy Jack-o’-lantern frightening kids who seek for treats, or of a creamy soup in a cold fall night, pumpkins are the most distinctive fruits we find on the market stands in this season. But this fruit, in its larger variants, is also at the center of a special type of competition that takes place every year. A group of fierce farmers equipped with large scales and the heaviest products of their fields meet up to determine who among them was able to grow the largest pump........ Read more »

  • October 21, 2016
  • 05:00 AM
  • 336 views

Friday Fellow: Witch’s Butter

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Last week I introduced a cyanobacteria that reminds me of my childhood and that is commonly known as witch’s jelly or witch’s butter. But witch’s butter is also the common name of fungus, so I thought … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 27, 2016
  • 08:32 AM
  • 446 views

Do you really see plants? Humans and their plant blindness

by Alice Breda in la-Plumeria

What do you see in the picture? An elephant, right?
Some will say that they see an African elephant, or perhaps an elephant in the savannah protecting from the sun in the shade of a tree. But who sees an elephant and a majestic flowering baobab surrounded by savannah shrubs in a dry grass meadow?
If your answer is the latter, congratulations, you are a quite unique case. If in the picture you just see “an elephant” then you are just like most of the people around you.

This pheno........ Read more »

Wandersee, J., & Schussler, E. (1999) Preventing Plant Blindness. The American Biology Teacher, 61(2), 82-86. DOI: 10.2307/4450624  

  • September 23, 2016
  • 07:00 AM
  • 534 views

Friday Fellow: Rosy Crust

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll If you are walking through a forest in Europe you may find the bark of some trees covered by a thin rosy or orange crust. Commonly known as rosy crust, its scientific name is Peniophora incarnata. As … Continue reading →... Read more »

Suay, I., Arenal, F,, Asensio, F. J., Basilio, A., Cabello, M. A., Díez, M. T., García, J. B., González del Val, A., Gorrochategui, J., Hernández, P.... (2000) Screening of basidiomycetes for antimicrobial activities. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, 78(2), 129-140. DOI: 10.1023/A:1026552024021  

  • September 16, 2016
  • 07:00 AM
  • 481 views

Friday Fellow: Samambaiaçu

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll It’s more than time to bring a fern as a Friday Fellow, and I decided to start with one of my favorites, the Neotropical tree fern Dicksonia sellowiana, known in Brazil as Samambaiaçu or Xaxim. The samambaiaçu … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 31, 2016
  • 10:58 AM
  • 569 views

Why do we hate coriander?

by Alice Breda in la-Plumeria

In the morning you get up, trudge all the way to the sink, grab a bar of soap and rub it on your face. Sometimes, after you rinsed, you realize that some soap got into your mouth. The taste is nasty, pungent, more in your nose than on your tongue and it persists until you eat or drink something.

This sickening feeling doesn’t hit me only in my brightest mornings, but also every time in an ethnic restaurant or during a trip the cook decides to decorate my tacos or my curry with some chop........ Read more »

  • August 19, 2016
  • 07:00 AM
  • 536 views

Friday Fellow: Asian Pigeonwing

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll Today’s Friday Fellow is a creeping (but not creepy) plant with nice deep blue flowers shaped like a human female genitalia. Yeah, you read that right. Its scientific name is Clitoria ternatea, the genus name being a … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 5, 2016
  • 07:00 AM
  • 675 views

Friday Fellow: Beggar’s tick

by Piter Boll in Earthling Nature

by Piter Kehoma Boll What if the cure for cancer has been living in your garden all this time and you have been trying to get rid of it because it is an annoying weed? I cannot assure you that … Continue reading →... Read more »

Chiang, L., Chang, J., Chen, C., Ng, L., & Lin, C. (2003) Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus Activity of Bidens pilosa and Houttuynia cordata. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 31(03), 355-362. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X03001090  

Kviecinski, M., Felipe, K., Schoenfelder, T., de Lemos Wiese, L., Rossi, M., Gonçalez, E., Felicio, J., Filho, D., & Pedrosa, R. (2008) Study of the antitumor potential of Bidens pilosa (Asteraceae) used in Brazilian folk medicine. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 117(1), 69-75. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.01.017  

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