Questions tagged [botany]

The study of plants and plant life.

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103
votes
8answers
18k views

Why do plants have green leaves and not red?

I know plants are green due to chlorophyll. Surely it would be more beneficial for plants to be red than green as by being green they reflect green light and do not absorb it even though green light ...
17
votes
4answers
11k views

How do trees lift water higher than 10 meters?

The atmosphere pressure is 10 meters of water (approx). This means that it is impossible to lift water higher than 10 meters with vacuum or сapillary action (on Earth, under normal conditions). There ...
29
votes
1answer
2k views

Do trees age on a microscopic level?

Most animals age via at least two mechinisms: at a "macroscopic" level, basically wear and tear to the point where (on evolutionary time scales) it's more genetically advantageous to optimize for ...
31
votes
4answers
7k views

How do trees manage to grow equally in all directions?

I was walking down a road with these beautifully huge trees when this question occurred to me. Large trees with many thick branches have to grow equally in all directions, or they would tip over. Is ...
184
votes
3answers
30k views

Why are so few foods blue?

Although blue foods exist, they're rare enough compared to other foods for food preparers to use blue plasters as a convention. The natural colour of a given food is due to pigments that have some ...
11
votes
4answers
487 views

What was the reason for some plant and animals to become giant in course of evolution?

The dinosaurs, mammoths, giant plants etc are known to be bigger than modern animals. I wonder why they had been lived and why they are not living now? I really don't know much but is it something ...
10
votes
1answer
192 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
639 views

Are two colors (red + blue) necessary for LED grow lights, or would either color be sufficient?

Below are some chlorophyll absorption spectra from other answers here. There is strong absorption at both the blue/violet end, and the red end of the spectrum, and presumably both of these contribute ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

How much oxygen does a plant use up at night?

Given the fact that plants cannot do photosynthesis at night but need respiration for their energy needs, they use up oxygen and generate carbon dioxide. But how much is this? If I fill a room with ...
15
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3answers
11k views

Are there any motile plants?

There are numerous examples of sessile animals (sponges, barnacles etc.) but are there any examples of motile plants? If not, why not? Surely mobility would have conferred an evolutionary advantage to ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Why are there so many medicinal plants?

Question Quite a few plant species can be used for medicinal purposes wiki. As an example, Filipendula ulmaria is rich in acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin). An allele that produces a substance which is ...
5
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1answer
2k views

How long can a plant generate oxygen from its own carbon dioxide, produced during nighttime?

I recently bought one of these miracle fruit plants (Synsepalum dulcificum). Since they are of tropic origin, they need higher humidity and temperature as we have it here in Austria. So I decided to ...
8
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1answer
2k 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.
32
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3answers
7k views

Can plants suffer from CO2 poisoning?

Is there a point where too much CO2 is bad for a plant? Basically when there is too much CO2 in the air can a plant get sick? Since plants photosynthesize and need CO2 to generate glucose and store ...
18
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2answers
2k views

How do plant galls form?

I am curious how Gall Wasps, bacteria and other organisms induce galls to form. Specifically, what chemicals induce gall formation?
5
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3answers
4k 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 ...
27
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the lowest pressure at which plants can survive?

What is the lowest pressure at which plants can survive? How the plants behave in a Martian-type atmosphere? Is there any plant that can survive such atmosphere? Can a lichen grow at Martian pressure?...
19
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2answers
14k views

How does a plant grow before photosynthesis is possible?

During photosynthesis, a plant translates CO2, water and light into O2. I assume the carbon C is further used for the growing process. I wonder how the plant grows before the time where photosynthesis ...
9
votes
2answers
546 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 is ...
6
votes
1answer
216 views

Help ID this plant, quite possibly a weed

I found this plant near my South Indian home in Kerala, India. Most probably it could be some sort of weed. Anyhoo, is this plant of any medical or commercial value? Is it a remedy for something? It ...
5
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2answers
1k views

What is the relationship between the light and dark reactions of photosynthesis?

My main concern is why are the dark reactions (those that produce hexose) needed? As far as I understand, the sole purpose of photosynthesis is to synthesize carbohydrates, which are only used for ...
18
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2answers
8k views

How will rising carbon dioxide levels in the troposphere affect photosynthetic producers?

Much discussion has been had about the affects of climate change on plantlife, but how will rising carbon dioxide concentrations affect the photosynthetic process itself? Since CO₂ is a reagent in ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Is there a fundamental reason that plants cannot fix their own nitrogen?

Plants must have nitrogen to grow. According to the answer to this question, there are no plants that can fix their own nitrogen (without the help of bacteria). Plants get their nitrogen in the form ...
12
votes
1answer
284 views

What is this small tree?

I found a dozen of these small trees in a local park that is just an overgrown homestead. The leaves look something like an elder but the flower clusters surrounded by white, four petaled false ...
13
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2answers
855 views

What is Growing on These Tree Leaves? (Image)

I found a seemingly diseased tree when I was out playing tennis yesterday... What is growing on this tree leaf? Is this a disease? If so, is it contagious? I have zero knowledge in botany, but I'm ...
11
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2answers
2k views

How would a plant sprout and grow in a zero gravity environment?

Have any experiments been carried out involving sprouting and growing plants in a zero gravity environment? If so, what was the outcome? How did the plants sprout out of the soil without gravity? Did ...
8
votes
1answer
277 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
755 views

Are four-leaf clovers mutations, developmental errors, or something more complicated?

What causes about 1 in 10,000 clovers to have four instead of three leaves? Will progeny(?) grown from its flower's seeds have a higher probability than that of also having four leaves? From the ...
2
votes
1answer
541 views

What DNA does a self-fertile plant's seedling have?

Some plants are said to be self-fertile. An example is Prunus tomentosa. Assuming that no cross-pollination happened with ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

A source for leaf architecture of different plant species/genus?

I'm currently working on extracting some features of the leaf architecture based on their images (like L:W ratio, laminar shape, ...). I use the Manual of Leaf Architecture as the reference. It is ...
-1
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2answers
542 views

Potato Power. Self sustaining medium using a living potato plant possible?

The second picture are potatoes wired in parallel. I understand that the potato is the medium for a chemical reaction between the copper and zinc. That aside, would wire and in soil potato plant ...
61
votes
1answer
6k views

What could cause a forest of bent trees?

While hiking on the northern Idaho-Montana border, I encountered a large area where virtually every tree is bent at the base in the downhill direction. Only the very largest and very smallest trees ...
49
votes
2answers
9k views

Why does cutting onion cause tears?​

When I looked on a couple of sites, I found that it is because of sulfuric acid produced by onions. But I could not find more details. What is the biochemical pathway by which onion causes tears? Also,...
19
votes
3answers
253 views

Where can I find historical data on world-wide ecology parameters?

I hope this is the right StackExchange forum for such a question. I'm looking for large data sets on world-wide ecology parameters, such as annual temperatures by latitude, annual rainfall, CO₂ and O₂...
34
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3answers
10k views

Do trees really get a large share of their mass from the carbon in the air?

I remember hearing that trees and other plants actually obtain a large amount of their mass from the carbon floating in the air, not the ground beneath them. Does the makeup of air actually contain ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

Do plant-animal cross races exist?

Plants and animals have the following distinct properties: Plants live from solar energy by photosynthesis, they use solar energy to make sugar and oxygen out of carbon dioxide, which gives them ...
20
votes
1answer
19k views

Why do plants fruit?

This is a two-part question: What is the point of fruit if not to be eaten? It’s my understanding that organisms will adapt to survive and thrive. I understand that being eaten can spread seeds, but ...
40
votes
4answers
11k views

Why would a plant evolve to produce an addictive chemical?

It seems kind of anti-productive in terms of survival for a plant to produce an addictive chemical as that plant will constantly be sought after by animals that ingest it. In this instance, I'm ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

Using anatomical terms for human organs and parts of plants

I know how to apply anatomical directional terms (e.g., dorsal/ventral, anterior/posterior, etc.) for animals as a whole (bipeds and quadrupeds). Recently, I've been studying plant physiology, and I ...
13
votes
5answers
16k views

Is it possible to genetically modify a plant at home?

Would I be able to genetically modify a plant at home? What equipment will be necessary? I think it might be a fun change from the 'norm' of regular hybridisation, to try some inter-family gene ...
44
votes
3answers
2k views

How does the sensitive plant detect vibrations?

The sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica) is a remarkable little plant whose characteristic feature is its ability to droop its leaves when disturbed: Apparently, this ability to droop rests on the cells ...
27
votes
1answer
6k views

Why are many fruits sour?

Many fruits (like apples, berries, citrus fruits etc.) contain high levels of organic acids, especially malic acid and citric acid. Are there any evolutionary functions of those acids in ripe fruits? ...
8
votes
1answer
134 views

Streamside plant identification - Oregon

This is in the western cascades forest in Oregon. Leaves are at the ends of branches only, lives mostly in slightly muddy areas next to streams. Produces small black berries.
7
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4answers
11k views

How many ATP molecules are formed?

What is the number of ATP molecules formed during the photosynthetic processes which consume 8 molecules of $\text{H}_2\text{O}$ due to noncyclic electron transport and subsequent photophosphorylation?...
6
votes
1answer
352 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?
42
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4answers
18k views

Do plants produce any heat?

Many plants (e.g. roses, palms) can be protected from frost during the winter if shielded with an appropriate coat that can be bought in garden shops. Do plants produce any heat that can be kept ...
32
votes
1answer
8k views

How long will a vegetable live for after being harvested?

I understand this might depend on the types of vegetables, but is there an average or studied specifics? Does it die immediately? Is there a way to precisely diagnose death in plants? If so, what are ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do some trees have a life span, while some don't?

I have heard that there is no limit on the growth of trees, but then why do some trees, such as boxelders and poplars, tend to live shorter than redwoods, for example? Some advertisements for improved ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

If plants “alternate generations” between sporophytes and gametophytes, why don't we say the same of humans?

I've been reading on Wikipedia about how plants alternate generations between a diploid sporophyte (usually the dominant part) and haploid gametophyte (in flowering plants, the pollen and ovule sacs). ...
8
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...