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

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Why do plants' leaves become enlarged in low light areas?

Why do almost all plants in shade have a smaller stem structure and larger leaf than that same species grown in a well lit, sunny area?
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103 views

Why is photosynthesis so complex?

Actually, what is the need of such long procedure? As much as I have understood, the sole purpose of photosynthesis is to synthesize carbohydrates, which is only used for energy storage. So, why don't ...
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2answers
703 views

What does “chlorophyll photosynthesis peak” mean in relation to photon wavelength?

When reading about how green / leafy plants work, I saw that they have chlorophyll A & B, which allow the plant to use the energy from light by capturing and transforming. When reading about ...
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3answers
327 views

Where does crop biomass come from?

Each year, large volumes of crop are harvested from fields. Where does this biomass get replenished from?
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135 views

Species identification, tree from Ecuador

This tree is recently photographed in Quito, Ecuador. It grows everywhere. I'm new to South American flora, so I'd like to know what the species it is?
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52 views

Are chilies technically peppers?

Nando's chain of restaurants (UK) refers to chili peppers as just "chilies". My friend and I had a discussion with regard to whether chilies can be called "peppers" or if they do not belong to the ...
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78 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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1answer
96 views

Which plant is this?

I'm curious what plant this is! I found it at 37°52'23.2"N 122°16'55.3"W (north of Oakland, California, USA).
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1k views

Why are there more stomatal openings on the lower surface of a dicot leaf?

This causes more transpiration to occur from lower leaf surface. What's the exact reason for why are there more stomatal openings on the lower surface of a dicot leaf?
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1answer
328 views

What does x in “Miscanthus × giganteus” name stand for?

I came across a species name that contains "x" in its name, namely Miscanthus × giganteus. What does this symbol stand for and is it commonly used in taxonomic nomenclature?
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287 views

What does the root “phyllum” mean used botanical binomial nomenclature

I often encounter the root "phyllum" in bionomial names in botany, but I've had trouble finding an actual definition for this root in any Latin dictionary outside of its taxonomic meaning. From ...
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1answer
340 views

is it necessary that every theca of an angiospermic anther must contain two microsporangia

i basically don't know the procedure or sequence of steps involved in the formation of anthers but i have read it somewhere it is formed from the dedifferentiation of shoot apical meristem of the ...
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1answer
423 views

Are there any air-plants with parts that are edible for humans?

Are any air plants (Tillansia sp.) safe for humans to eat? I haven't been able to find whether or not there are. Pineapple is in the same family (Bromeliaceae), but isn't an air plant.
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263 views

How is this yellow bumblebee called that I photographed in New York City?

Does anybody know the name of this bumblebee? (For categorization on wikipedia commons)
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1k views

What happens when seeds are refrigerated before planting?

My son is doing a science research project at school, and he's chosen to research what happens when seeds are refrigerated before planting. I cannot provide any information in regards to background ...
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1answer
82 views

What is the cause of the spots on this leaf?

On a hiking trip to the Alps I found trees whose leaves showed those spots you see on the picture. I am curious about what the cause is. Higher resolution pictures of front and back side.
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1answer
492 views

Plant a whole fruit or only seeds?

I'm trying to figure out whether it is better for the plant to reproduce by planting its whole fruits with seeds inside them, or picking the seeds out and planting them without the fruit. In my case ...
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1answer
51 views

What are the hairs/spikes on the edges of these leaves for?

Windows 7 has a wallpaper/background which shows an attractive, leafy plant with fine hairs or spikes on the edges. What might these be for, and what sort of plant is it? My initial (uneducated) ...
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1answer
346 views

What are these white spots on a dracena

I have a Dracaena Marginata which started to have some white spots. They turn out to be some kind of "mold" which can be removed when swapping the leaf and then leaves some discolored spots ...
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2answers
73 views

Can anyone ID this flower plant by the photo?

Can someone identify this plant? It has big red flowers when it flowers! Not sure if it is native, but it is in my grandmothers garden in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
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1answer
234 views

How much pollen is needed to pollinate a flower?

Assuming 100% of the pollen gets delivered to exactly the locations it needs to pollinate a female flower, how much pollen is needed to pollinate a flower? If it's more than one unit of pollen, what, ...
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1answer
90 views

Molds and fungi usually found on book pages: identifying and preventing further spread

I know I can use bleach to kill most of the spores that live on my walls. I know I have to keep humidity below a certain level and temperature above another to prevent the spread of mold. I have read ...
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1answer
70 views

Why are the genomes of some trees so large?

For example, the current longest known genome belongs to a tree: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-largest-genome-ever-sequenced-belongs-to-a-tree I have heard that this could potentially be ...
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2answers
89 views

Why do pine stands exist?

I live in the midwestern United States. I cycle to work, sometimes on heavily wooded roads, and I can't help but notice that in most places within the surrounding deciduous forests Pine and evergreen ...
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1answer
113 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 ...
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759 views

Where do trees get their shape?

Does anyone know any good resources dealing with shapes of trees? For example, pine trees are cone shaped for optimal absorption of sunlight, but lone pine trees growing in isolation (and other ...
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1answer
184 views

What is this plant?

I really like this plant--I'm just wondering what its name is (perhaps genus+species). I think this plant grows in the tropical rainforest in Malaysia. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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1answer
53 views

Seed Dormancy and Seed Transportation

My textbook says "As the seed matures it loses water and enter dormancy". I am confused as to whether this happens before the seeds are transported or after, and as to how seeds know to become dormant ...
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1answer
806 views

When happens when pollen grains land on the a part other than the stigma of a flower of the same species?

When happens when pollen grains land on the a part other than the stigma of a flower of the same species? Would the pollen be transported to the stigma or would it just sit where it landed and nothing ...
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2answers
319 views

Why don't plants get sunburned?

I just saw a video about the biology between sunburn, UVA and UVB and the different things we know about sunburn in humans. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSJITdsTze0 ) I wonder what keeps plants ...
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1answer
336 views

If only dicots have pith, what is the foam in the middle of cornstalks?

I've heard that the only plants that have pith are dicots, because of the shape of their vascular bundle. If that is true, what is the foam inside of the corn plants, which are monocots?
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1answer
44 views

What kind of kale is this?

I'm from Pennsylvania and I used to get this kale all the time at the grocery store, but I moved to the West Coast recently and can't find it anywhere! It looks exactly like this photo: Image ...
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59 views

Why Isn't mineral transport in xylem multi-directional?

According to our textbook, Xylem transport is only unidirectional while transport through phloem is multi-directional. But minerals are taken up by xylem from the surrounding tissues actively, and ...
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2answers
595 views

Do aquatic plants have stomata?

I am wondering if aquatic plants have stomata or not. I know that non-aquatic plants have stomata to release water(transpiration) and oxygen, and to take in carbon dioxide. Do aquatic plants also have ...
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1answer
87 views

Needle-like crystals observed in wild-grape wine under microscope. Potentially harmful?

I recently crushed and strained about thirty pounds of wild grapes to ferment into wine. About a month in, I did a visual inspection of the wine under microscope to try and identify some yeast and ...
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1answer
33 views

Brandywine Maple?

I'm collecting and classifying leaves for biology. Teacher took us on a 'walk' to help. She let us pick and told us one leaf was a Brandywine Maple and another later on, a different leaf, was a Red ...
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1answer
215 views

Are corn kernels considered a grain

I have seen corn described as a seed, a grain and a fruit. What are the kernels or a corncob considered to be? A grain, a seed or a fruit?
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1answer
77 views

Identification of a plant (in a pot)

I have in my flat a plant which sometime make strange flowers. When the start it looks like plastic stars: Then the flowers are opening after few days and looks like this: The smell is a bit ...
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1answer
73 views

How does Trifluralin kill newly germinating seeds, with almost no effects on established ones?

Trifluralin (2,6-Dinitro-N,N-dipropyl-4-(trifluoromethyl)aniline) is a pre-emergent herbicide used in landscape beds before the application of mulch (my use for it, anyway). It kills the weeds as they ...
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2answers
47 views

recolonize earth desert with plants : which plants first?

if willing to recolonize earth desert , let's say sahara or any dehydrated and sterile land, without intensive human intervention, what would be the first plants / algae / fungi /bacteria to grow ? ...
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1answer
167 views

Does a presence of ants on a plant mean that the plant has been infested by aphids?

Ants protect aphids from their predators (such as ladybirds): Aphids and other hemipteran insects secrete a sweet liquid called honeydew, when they feed on plant sap. The sugars in honeydew are a ...
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1answer
738 views

How do some plants grow in salt water, while others die?

My question is basically out of curiosity and comes from observing how certain plants (such as mangroves or salt cedar) can grow in seawater. If this gives the plant an advantage, why haven't all ...
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1answer
91 views

Identification of this plant?

Photographed in Rocky Point, Mexico. Any ideas about this plant? Thank you!
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1answer
363 views

How to distinguish those flowers in outskirts: hawkweeds (Hieracium), hawksbeard (Crepis) and hawkbits (Leontodon)?

How to distinguish those flowers of the forest outskirts: hawkweeds (Hieracium), hawksbeard (Crepis) and hawkbits (Leontodon)? I am not asking about concrete species it should be extremely hard since ...
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1answer
229 views

What are these stars in my microscopic image?

I see this very curious patterns on the sun-facing side of a jasmine (probably) leaf - visible with a makeshift microscope (about 50x) What are them? Pores? Are there other plants with similar ...
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1answer
330 views

Has synthetic biology created new plants or animals as of 2013?

I've seen a Ted.com talk where the speaker suggests that modern science can create new micro organisms, like bacteria with a pre- defined new set of traits. But has anyone create a new species of ...
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1answer
355 views

Why seeds won't sprout given excess water?

What would cause a seed to not sprout despite showing signs of germination given excess water? Oxygen, temperature, and light were sufficient for germination and sprouting in seeds of a slightly ...
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1answer
30 views

Mutation in axillary buds of trees overcoming self-incompatability?

I seem to recall from either reading or lecture that there have been instances of trees that are self-incompatible accumulating enough mutations in an axillary bud that the resulting branch was able ...
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2answers
55 views

Current scientific theories for evolution of Cucurbita

I'm attempting to find research on scientific theories surrounding the evolution of certain plants, and am unable to find any footing with respect to a certain genus. In this case, I am researching ...
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1answer
142 views

Why does Citric Acid occur in Citrus fruits?

Why is there so much citric acid in citrus fruits? And how did it evolve i.e. what did it come from? Is it a by-product of the ripening process? Why have citrus fruit evolved a particularly high ...