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  • Roots holding on to soil

    Roots create … rock

    The more I learn about roots, the more amazing they appear. Not only do they provide essential support for, and anchorage of, the aerial, above-ground, parts of the plant, they are the prime organs for abstracting water and a wide range of chemicals from the soil and transporting those throughout the plant. Furthermore, their ancient […] More

  • in ,

    Plant records: Can a plant be too trusting?

    Name: Orchids Scientific name: Family: Orchidaceae Known for: Beauty, epiphytism, providing vanilla flavouring, tiny seeds, mycorrhizae, deceptive pollination, mycoheterotrophy, medicinal usage, vegetating Krakatoa… Record broken: The world’s most trusting plant… The orchid family, the Orchidaceae, is one of the biggest flowering plant families with an estimated number of species ranging from 26,460 [Maarten Christenhusz et […] More

  • Trees and Roots
    in ,

    The roots of hydrotropism

    Most plants are essentially rooted to a spot and immobile. While the factors they need for growth – e.g. sunlight, minerals, and water – are often present in the environment, they aren’t always close enough to the plant to be used fully. Nature has overcome this problem by giving plants the remarkably ability for some […] More

  • Macroscopical anatomical patterns of the roots of Sapindaceae lianas.

    Unravelling the roots of lianas

    Woody vines collectively known as lianas are fundamental components of tropical forests but their root structure is largely unexplored. Stems of Sapindaceae display diverse architectures and an anatomical pattern typical of climbing plants. Bastos et al. explore the root structure of well-developed roots in numerous lianoid genera of this family. All roots exhibited a lianescent […] More

  • Monks collecting alms

    Altruistic plants?

    There’s been a thoughtfulness* of books recently that reflect on aspects of plant intelligence – e.g. Daniel Chamovitz’s What a Plant Knows, Anthony Trewavas’ Plant Behaviour & Intelligence, Richard Karban’s Plant Sensing and Communication , and Stefano Mancuso and Alessandra Viola’s Brilliant Green. Whilst the concept or meaning of plant intelligence is debated, let’s muddy […] More

  • Canberra from Mount Ainslie

    Roots Down Under: A special issue of Annals of Botany

    Plant productivity is very dependent on favourable interactions between the roots and soil. These interactions not only drive water and nutrient acquisition but they also affect the release of signals that influence all aspects of plant growth and development. Root–soil interactions are also critical for ecosystem services, including biodiversity and carbon sequestration. However, the intimate […] More

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