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

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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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58 views

What is the name of this flower?

A flower has grown on a leaf in our garden. What is the name of this flower? Give some description.
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95 views

Is this Heracleum sosnowskyi?

There's a relatively big scare in local news about the Heracleum sosnowskyi plant, considering how dangerous it can be. I was strolling through the park when I noticed these plants - the ones I ...
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59 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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105 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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132 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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172 views

What is the name of this plant?

This plant was found growing in Germany. I have never seen it before, reverse Google image search did not help either. Can you help me identify what type of plant this is? Thanks, looks like it ...
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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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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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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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43 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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242 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 ...
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812 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 ...
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146 views

Why do apples taste sweeter at the bottom?

Sometimes when eating an apple, I notice that the bottom (blossom) end of the apple has a lot more sweetness and flavour to it, whereas the top half (stem) is often more watery, crispier and feels ...
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394 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 ...
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69 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?
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100 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 ...
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86 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 ...
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73 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 ...
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104 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 ...
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49 views

Serological assays not detecting native proteins [closed]

Is there anyone out there who has done much work with serological assays? We have antiserum for a manufactured viral protein but no luck so far getting it to detect native protein (unless today's ...
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294 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 ...
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82 views

Evolution theory - roses spikes - being more bulgy doesn't give you advantage

I've seen spike, huge spike. And I thought that development of such spikes could be contrary to the evolution theory. Being „little more” spiky doesn’t give you any advantage... So those ...
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393 views

Why doesn't human consumption of plants cause infectious diseases the way consumption of animals can?

At first I want to clarify that I do know that there are naturally poisonous plants and plants that can hold radioactive stuff or toxic material from the environment. What I mean by "diseases" (I ...
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225 views

Can anyone help me identify this plant?

I have a Chamaerops humilis in my apartment and in there is these small plants growing. I live in Denmark, Europe and my palm tree has only been inside my apartment since i got it. Can anyone ...
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69 views

Identify the plant

Can anyone tell me which plant or flower is this. I have found it in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India.
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2k 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 ...
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321 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 ...
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181 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 ...
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160 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 ...
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84 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: ...
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80 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 ...
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35 views

Do you know what plant it is?

I saw this plant when I was on my trip to the Ukraine. I wonder if those berries are edible. Thanks a lot in advance.
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296 views

Help identify this awesome climbing plant with velcro like stem

I got this plant sprouting in my window box this spring. Starting from a single seed, it has grown into an impressive array of branching climbing vines, reaching 6 feet tall. The stem turned red as it ...
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160 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 ...
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310 views

Why is the floral biodiversity of grazed grassland higher than that of mown grassland?

I have collected some data to compare the biodiversity of a field in which the plagioclimax is maintained by machine mowing with a field in which the plagioclimax is maintained by sheep grazing. What ...
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Online course on Plant Taxonomy and Physiology

After following a course in Permaculture, I realised that if I want to get serious about it, I need to be able to distinguish plants. So I am looking for an online Video course on Plant Taxonomy and ...
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399 views

What is the largest perennial herbaceous plant?

What is the largest perennial herbaceous plant? My guess would be some kind of banana or bamboo.
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62 views

Fruit-bearing tree identification

Just moved into a new house in Puerto Rico and I found this tree in the back garden. Can anyone tell me what tree this is, and whether its fruit is edible?
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248 views

Sexual Differentiation in Monoecious plants with unisexual flowers

In monoecious plants having unisexual flowers (eg Zea Mays, Ricinus Communis etc), there must be some mechanism as to produce two sexually distinct flowers from the same genotype. Since both the type ...
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197 views

Function of papain in papaya

I know that papain is a proteolytic enzyme present in papaya. It is often used to tenderise meat. What is the function of papain in papaya? Is papain sweet? Does it function as an antibiotic?
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186 views

Plant identification?

Can anyone identify the plant below? It's in a backyard in Pennsylvania, and the photo was taken today.
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3k views

Does photosynthesis require only direct sunlight

I have learned throughout my basic science classes in high school that in the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb sunlight & produce food. They use carbon dioxide & water vapour. My ...
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41 views

Why do plants produce so many hybrids as a kingdom?

Why do plants produce so many hybrids? I have read that they are the largest kingdom of organisms to do so. Does this have something to do with polyploidy events?
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117 views

How does Pothos grow in only water?

The popular potted plant, Pothos aureus (or Epipremnum aureum) is happy to grow in a jar, with only water, for years. How is this possible when other plants need at least Nitrogen, Phosphorus and ...
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93 views

Is the water transpired by plants pure H₂O, or does it contain trace minerals?

I'm considering the idea of drinking water that I trap from what is transpired by trees. Interestingly, is this water a fairly (or maybe even extraordinarily) pure form of H₂O, a remarkably pure ...
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91 views

H₂S as a source of electrons for plants

The first electron source for plants was H2S, but now most modern plants use H2O as an electron source. What is the advantage of using H2O instead of H2S?
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How does trees know to balance themselves so that they never fall down [duplicate]

Well i was flying kites today I saw a tree and its branches were spread around in random directions... I would like to know that how do these trees know to nourish their branches in some direction so ...
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238 views

Why are there no trees in Texas?

In Texas, there is lot of grassland and many cotton fields, which need a great deal of water. However, I have not seen any forests or areas with many trees. Why are there no forests or heavily-treed ...
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407 views

Why are there so many medicinal plants?

Here is wikipedia page containing a list of plants used in herbal medicine. One might first want to argue that many of them actually do not have any medicinal/beneficial effect on heatlth. I think we ...