The study of plant life; e.g. angiosperms, gymnosperms, bryophytes, pteridophytes, and algae.

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What is this pink-flowering plant found in Shanghai, China in March?

This plant appears to have fleshy protrusions resembling flowers growing out of its stem (although I am unable to identify them as such). Does anyone know the identity of these plants?
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What are the variables that control/influence the color of oranges(Citrus sinensis)?

I hear that Oranges cultivated in tropical areas of the world tend to be greener when ripe, is that correct? Even the same type of Orange differs in color if cultivated in California or Florida. I ...
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2k views

How can a monocot get so massive?

Some monocots (such as palms) are impressively thick and massive, yet botanists maintain that they don't have secondary growth. Why do botanists say this? How can it get so big without secondary ...
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953 views

If the xylem of a woody plant is composed of dead tissue, how does sapwood become heartwood?

If the xylem of a tree is composed entirely of dead tissue, then that means the sapwood is dead. If so, how does it transform into heartwood, and what starts the process?
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98 views

How does Halosulfuron-methyl kill nutsedge, while leaving lawn grass and most weeds undamaged?

I use Halosulfuron-methyl to control yellow and purple nutsedge in lawns. This chemical acts by interfering with the acetolactate synthase enzyme, which quickly slows cell division, and growth at all ...
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263 views

What's the name of this flower?

I photographed this flower in Central Europe. I looked in online databases but can't really identify the actual flower, since there are so many that look quite similar. Can you help me? What's the ...
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508 views

Are pulp cells (in oranges) normal plant cells?

Does a pulp cell contain all the elements that a 'normal' plant cell contains? I've searched for an hour to find more information about this but couldn't find anything useful. Is the pulp cell the ...
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507 views

Why do many fruit trees have five-petaled flowers?

Peach, pear, apple, cherry, and many other fruit trees seem to have flowers comprised of five petals. Assuming there is no evolutionary advantage to confusing students of trees, is there a plausible ...
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720 views

How do white Caladiums perform enough photosynthesis to support their mass?

In some white caladiums, there is less than a square inch of green space spread over the whole leaf. How do these plants perform the photosynthesis necessary to support the large leaves, the roots, ...
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128 views

Do any plants exhibit hormonal changes similar to puberty?

Just what the title states. Are there any plants/trees that exhibit a growth spurt at a definite interval after the shoot appears?
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216 views

How did these apples grow together?

I came through this pic while scrolling through facebook, and it was a bit strange to me. As far as I know apples have a corymbose type of inflorescence, in which a single pedicel ends in a single ...
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71 views

Plant identification in Turkey

What species is this ? It is a stinky, hairy plant. I have found it nearby a river. It had reached a height of 1 meter. Bloomed three weeks ago. Found in Turkey.
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What evolutionary adaptations cause trees to grow tall?

I think there are some obvious costs for trees to grow tall. Carbon and other nutrients costs, maintenance cost, energy cost (for growing, to bring water (and nutrients) up to the higher leaves, ...
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Can any plant regenerate missing tissue?

I have not yet found a plant that, when an insect eats a hole in one of its leaves, it can regenerate the lost tissue. Many plants will grow a new stem if the old one is cut, but it is not a perfect ...
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132 views

Any food crops that could grow in a desert provided that they get fertilizer and water

I am working on an idea to provide nearly unlimited amounts of water in desert regions. To make this commercially viable. I would use the water to irrigate desert sand and grow crops. Given my ...
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384 views

What biological processes cause leaves to change colours in Autumn?

I am curious to learn what are the biological mechanisms that cause leaves of deciduous plants to change colour? What happens to the chlorophyll? What environmental phenomena (temperature/air ...
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6k views

What's the difference between a plant and an animal?

Are there some living things where the distinction between plant and animal is blurry or unclear? I wouldn't know where to put something like yeast. I also thought of photosynthesis, but then I ...
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435 views

Photosynthetic Pigments vs. Chloroplasts

What is the difference between Photosynthetic Pigments and Chloroplasts? I know plants have both but Prokaryotes (Bacteria and Archeae) only have the former.
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286 views

Can someone identify this plant?

Can someone identify this plant? It was growing under my 2 year old's climbing wall / play house thing. I live in West Virginia, USA and it's currently June 3rd (if that helps from a climate ...
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76 views

What is the mechanism behind plants losing their leaves? [duplicate]

Do plants that lose their leaves (i.e., deciduous plants) do so because of external conditions (e.g., drought, cold), or because of an internal process? Another way of looking at it: if you take a ...
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59 views

Viruses selected by evolution

First let me apologize in advance for I know almost nothing about biology. I had a conversation today with a family member who is a bio-computer-scientist and he talked to me about what his colleagues ...
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273 views

What is this plant …?

I would like to know what is this plant ? Does anybody have an idea ? Somebody offered it to me but there is no explanation about how to care about it... Some purple flowers appeared, during 2-3 ...
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2k views

How do lilies sense day and night and open and close their flowers?

We have lots of lily flowers inside our garden. Their flowers are open in day and closed in night. How do lilies sense day and night and open and close their flowers?
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801 views

Do immature fruits perform photosynthesis?

Most immature fruits are green: peppers, pine cones, plums, lots of them. I want to know if the green is from chlorophyll in the cells. Do the fruit cells perform photosynthesis? When you cover a ...
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168 views

What allows Valonia ventricosa cells to get so big?

Valonia ventricosa are single celled algae that range between one and few centimeters. In rare cases they can reach sizes exceeding 5cm. Weirdly, a lot of the literature covering these organisms ...
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79 views

Receptors for red and far-red light in plants: Shade avoidance

Franklin (2009) describes how plants use the ratio of the red wavelength (660-670nm) over the far-red wavelength (725-735nm) (R:FR) in order to avoid shading. My question is: which receptor is ...
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3k views

How does plant grafting work?

Plant grafting is a process whereby a piece of one plant is inserted into another and results in a change of the original plant. For example, grafting a piece of a lemon tree into a bitter orange tree ...
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89 views

Gender and age-specific mutation rate in plants

Background General concept According to Cochran and Harpending (2013), mothers transmits on average a number $x$ of new mutations to their offspring. This number $x$ is independent of the age of the ...
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204 views

What's a good reference for choosing histological staining chemicals?

It's often difficult to find the appropriate or best stain to use when I want to examine a new type of tissue. I think that's partly because many histological techniques were developed a long time ...
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152 views

Which will produce more oxygen? Less number of (larger) trees or more number of (smaller) plants?

In a given area A, we have two choices - (i) we can plant maximum number of trees (which are larger in size) possible in A, say m OR (ii) we can plant maximum number of plants (which are smaller in ...
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59 views

Why doesn't Fenoxaprop-P-ethyl damage cool season lawns?

For controlling bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon, a serious perennial grassy lawn weed in my area, I use the herbicide Fenoxaprop-P-ethyl. It kills the bermudagrass rather well, without damaging the ...
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107 views

How does MSMA kill crabgrass with only minimal damage to lawn grasses?

I use MSMA (Monosodium methyl arsenate) to kill crabgrass in lawns. I am not certain of the mode of action. How does this chemical work? How does it target the annual grassy weeds, without ...
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907 views

Regulation in plants bearing cleistogamous and chasmogamous flowers

In most plants bearing cleistogamous flowers, chasmogamous flowers are also borne by the plants. For example, Viola, Oxalis and Commelina contain both these kinds of flowers.( I am unaware of a ...
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105 views

What mechanisms tell temperate trees when to drop leaves?

I've been looking around and cannot find a definite answer on what it is that tells trees to change their metabolism and drop leaves. I see that such activity is called Deciduous. What interests me ...
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What bacteria shed harvestable energy from root zone organic matter?

I recently heard of a successful effort that harvests energy from soil at plants' bases due to apparently bacterial breakdown of wastes from the plants: Via photosynthesis a plant produces organic ...
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389 views

Why are there ecosystems?

Why would things self-organize in such a manner? I'm a mathematician and I have no baggage in ecology or biology. If the question is too broad maybe someone can point me to formal sources where this ...
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563 views

What is this Tree?

What is this plant? Location: Bangalore, India
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95 views

What is the name of this plant? (found in a rock)

I found it in Western Turkey.It was growing on a rock so what's it?
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252 views

Why can't a Corn have 13 rows of seeds?

Every time before eating a corn, I count its lines. I would always find 12 or 14 rows of seeds but never 13. Is there any biological/scientific reason behind this?
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Why are there no tree-like plants that grow in lakes?

Looking at aerial photos of boreal forests, with dense woods clear-cut by quiet lakes, I wondered why exactly are the woods so clear-cut at the edge of water? Why won't trees develop adaptations that ...
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59 views

What is the scientific name of this evergreen plant?

This plant is found in India. It is an evergreen plant. Would love to know the scientific name.
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49 views

Are there terrestrial plants that thrive on sea water?

Given the existence of coastal deserts such as in the picture below, I was wondering whether terrestrial plants can survive on sea water alone? If yes, why then do coastal deserts exist, instead of ...
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44 views

What is the trigger of pollen tube formation when the pollen is on the stigma?

What is the mechanism of pollen tube formation when the pollen is close to the stigma ? Is it because of chemotaxis? In other words, is the growth triggered by some chemical substance that is ...
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90 views

If higher levels of atmospheric oxygen can lead to larger animals, can it also lead to larger plants?

According to some information, in the ancient past (at least some) animals grew larger due to a higher levels of oxygen in the atmosphere. So for example there is this study regarding dragonflies. ...
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128 views

Can you tell the sex of a white willow when it's not flowering?

Can you tell whether a salix alba tree will produce male flowers or female flowers by looking at it, touching it or generally using your unaided senses? If not, is there any way to do that without ...
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94 views

Photosynthesis regulation

I read about the regulation of Calvin cycle by thioredoxin which activates key enzymes essentially by converting disulphide linkages on inactive enzymes into sulfhydryls. Another regulatory mechanism ...
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1k views

Does cooking or ripening reduce the concentration of solanine in nightshade?

I recall a story from one of my Botany professors where he encountered a woman picking Solanum dulcamara (nightshade) berries. When he asked her what she was doing with them, she responded that her ...
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49 views

If the haploid prothallium of a fern fertilizes itself into a diploid sporophyte, does this make all ferns clones?

From what I understand in the alternation of generations in ferns, mature spores germinate into a haploid prothallium. But how does this gametophyte produce recombinant gametes if it itself develops ...
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39 views

Total dark deprivation at day-neutral plants

First of all, I am not a biologist. Almost for a week, a question has come to my mind: "Is it harmful ceaselessly exposing a plant to light?" (I mean with natural & artificial light with ...
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215 views

Measuring algae growth or death

My daughter (10th grade) is doing a science fair project on the toxicity of triclosan for the algae Selenastrum capricornutum. She is wondering the best way to measure the effect, given the limited ...