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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

7
votes
2answers
378 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
552 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
121 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?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
367 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
380 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
384 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.
6
votes
3answers
2k views

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, ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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?
6
votes
1answer
669 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
187 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
47 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
616 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
90 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
72 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?
5
votes
1answer
97 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?
5
votes
3answers
199 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
50 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

What is the name of this plant with many purple blooms with orange inner parts?

I have photographed the following plant in Pittsburgh, PA. It has many blooms and every bloom is very small (about 5mm diameter), purple on the outer and orange in the inner. You can see it here: ...
5
votes
2answers
118 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
238 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
90 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
34 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
163 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
625 views

How do individual plants adapt to changes in temperature?

If you grow a plant from seed in your nice warm house, then plant it out in your temperate garden, it will stop growing for a while, possibly die, and if not, subsequently resume growth. Standard ...
5
votes
1answer
211 views

How do plants intake minerals through their leaves?

How do plants intake the fertilizer when it is sprayed all over the leaf surface as a foliar feed?
5
votes
1answer
204 views

Why does wood become darker when it ages?

I have lots of pieces of pine furniture which have different colours depending on how old they are. So, I just wondered why that is. I guess it has something to do with structures and chemical ...
5
votes
1answer
59 views

Why are some plants frost tender?

Why do some plants have the ability to stand frost, while others can't? Does it have to do with the size of the water vacuoles in the plant cells?
5
votes
1answer
40 views

Are there ways to speed up the growth of plants?

I'm interested in what humans can do to speed up the rate of growth in a plant. I'm interested in both the context of home gardening and large-scale, institution-backed projects. Obviously, optimal ...
5
votes
1answer
77 views

How are Raunkiær's plant life forms viewed today?

At the beginning of the 20th century, Raunkiær proposed a typology of plant life-forms based on where they bear their buds, roughly as: cryptophytes: belowground hemicryptophytes: at the surface ...
5
votes
1answer
63 views

Shade-loving Plants

In shade-loving plants, the light compensation point is reached at low irradiance because: A. Leaves have more chlorophyll per reaction center B. These plants have greatly reduced respiration rates ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

What controls leaf senescence in deciduous tree species, and how can I predict it?

If I want to predict litterfall, what data do I need to collect, and what statistical model might I use? For example, I might use the following coding to record phenological stage every other day, or ...
4
votes
2answers
264 views

What determines the autumn leaf color?

It is autumn out there. Green, brown, red, yellow, and mixed-colored leaves drop from the trees to the ground. What determines the colors of the leaves? Wikipedia tells me Leaf senescence is the ...
4
votes
1answer
35 views

Can plants grow under extreme (>1%) carbon dioxide concentrations?

Related to but distinct from this question due to the concentrations involved. While small carbon dioxide concentration increases can positively impact plant growth under some circumstances and at ...
4
votes
1answer
630 views

How does a pine cone open?

When a pine cone is wet, it remains closed. However, when it's dry it opens again. From the perspective of physics or biomechanics, what is the mechanism that allows a pine cone to open and close as ...
4
votes
1answer
237 views

Sporophyte and gametophyte

My textbook says that in both groups of seedless plants (vascular plants, non-vascular plants) the gametophyte is a free-living plant, independent of the sporophyte. I don't understand this statement ...
4
votes
2answers
148 views

Is it possible to grow any kind of plant soilless (hydroponics)?

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. [wikipedia] My question is if is it possible to grow any kind of ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

Is a Ginkgo tree a conifer?

I know Ginkgo is a gymnosperm, but I was wondering whether Ginkgo is also technically a conifer. I did a Google search, and found several confident authoritative-sounding answers. Unfortunately, those ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

How much cost would artificial pollination add to common products (fruits etc.)?

I've read about ecosystem services and their possible valuation - statements like "honeybee pollination service in the US is worth 1.6 billion dollars". Is data available on how this would affect the ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

How can a plant resist glyphosate (Roundup) herbicide?

In my area, the most common weeds that strongly resists (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine) (glyphosate) are the horseweed, or mare's tail, Conyza canadensis, and Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense There are ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Why are neutral [sterile] female flowers present in inflorescences when they are reproductively incompatible?

In many compound and special inflorescences like spadix and hypanthodium there are sterile female flowers along with male and female fertile flowers and are often present in between male and female ...