If you haven’t heard of phytoliths, here’s what they are and why they matter

Annals of Botany papers are free to access if they’re over a year old. You might know that if you’re a botanist, but not if you’re in another field. I’ve been writing for archaeologists about what phytoliths are, and why they matter.

  • This is a perfect example of why social networking is going to be so useful for science, and why I, as editor, am so keen that Annals of Botany is involved! We publish a lot of interdisciplinary papers and the new tagging and distribution will let people know about them. We even publish some spectacular art history – the medieval manuscripts known as the Tacuinum Sanitatis show how cucumbers and eggplants/aubergines looked when first grown, and the paper by Paris, Jaunay and Janick has some spectacular plates – http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcp055 – even showing the ways mandrake roots were harvested! Fortunately, I don’t grow this in my veg.patch any more, since the scream when you pull up the roots is shown to be fatal.