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    Raising awareness of plant blindness

    Readers of this column will know that there is a problem with the inability – or unwillingness – of people generally to appreciate plants. This is the well-recognised phenomenon of plant blindness. Although we’ve talked about it before in Plant Cuttings items, it’s now time to go visual. To that end I’d shamelessly like to […] More

  • Discoveries in the Garden cover

    Discovering Discoveries in the Garden

    Discoveries in the garden by James Nardi, 2018. University of Chicago Press. I must have reached some level of fame because a few weeks ago a copy of Discoveries in the Garden by James Nardi arrived in my pigeon hole at work. Although it contained no specific instructions as to what I was supposed to […] More

  • Mars

    Will a Martian save the Earth?

    Plant scientists are essential to help provide solutions to three of the most important current and future threats to mankind’s existence on the planet – food security, water supply and climate change. But as universities close plant biology courses we have to ask: Where are those plant scientists to come from? More

  • Image: Charles Doussault, ‘A class in the open’, wood engraving, approx. 1842.

    Reaching the masses: true botanical evangelism

    I don’t know what the average enrolment on a first-year university plant science course is, but I can guess that it isn’t more than 5000. But 5009 is the number who had signed up to Prof. Daniel Chamovitz and Aviva Katz series of ‘classes’ intriguingly entitled, ‘What a Plant Knows (and other things you didn’t […] More

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    Alice in the Wonderland of plants…

    Military campaigns are sometimes intended to display ‘shock’ and ‘awe’ to overcome the adversary. Well – and rather less militaristically – Yiannis Manetas’ book, Alice in the Land of Plants: Biology of Plants and Their Importance for Planet Earth (hereafter referred to as Alice), is also intended to ‘surprise’ and ‘amaze’. And, like 21st century […] More