The other day, I was podcasting with Tegan and, as she often does, she described another fascinating carnivorous plant: Nepenthes aristolochioides has a large pitcher that lures flies into it to digest them. It got me thinking, the traps of carnivorous plants are these intricate, specialised organs that look so very different from the leaves, stems and flowers of other plants. I wanted to know how they are formed.… Read more
Pathogenic bacteria are the burglars of the plant world. They break and enter and wreak havoc within a plant cell as they grab whatever they find useful – mostly delicious nutrients. Just like with real burglars, the key to stopping them is a proper door – unless the burglar have a way to pry it open.… Read more
Sometimes, adaption means avoiding trouble. Picking a favourable season to grow, a place with no herbivores or choosing a time when there is a surplus of eager pollinators. Sometimes, adaption means powering through all adversities while standing your ground. Today, we talk about the latter.
Alpine plants don‘t have it easy. Growth periods are short as temperatures quickly drop after summer and take a long time to recover at the end of winter. Some plants adapt by growing, flowering, setting and dispersing seeds within a brief period of time, so that they get everything done before winter is back.… Read more
Friday is podcast day. This week, we talk about the mystery of the angiosperm explosion during the crestaceous period when flowering plants suddenly took over the ecosystems and when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
You can find the podcast here and in all common podcast players.
Nothing induces memories quite like smells. Especially in winter, different smells trigger warm emotional responses: the smell of cotton candy, fried sausages and cheap mulled wine makes people reminiscence of Christmas markets. The smell of pine gives us that lovely feeling of sitting in front of a Christmas tree on a cold but exciting morning. Let‘s have a look at what makes that smell.… Read more
Those who love winter usually love it for the opportunity to wrap oneself in a blanket, sit by the fire and enjoy the cozy indoor heat. Well, plants don’t have that luxury, most of them have to stay outside (despite Tegan’s best efforts to give them all a warm home). And for some, winter is almost never over.
For people in Central Europe or Northern America, winter is a passing season – its cold, dry weather is sure to pass, eventually. In some regions however, the cold season spans most of the year.… Read more
We’re back! The podcast took a short break for a few weeks but now, it is back, and it’s going strong. This week, we’re talking about not one but two papers – at the same time! We’re all about mistletoe, present you our favourite plant and so much more. It feels good to be back.
You can find the full episode here or in your podcast player.… Read more
I don’t understand why someone would put a spiky, angry little plant as a decorative element in their own home. For some reason however, holly made the cut of nice-to-have decorative plants, even though it is ready to stab me at any moment. If it only wasn’t for goats, then it would be a perfectly peaceful plant.… Read more
Do you know where your Christmas tree is from? Chances are you can pinpoint the nursery that grew the trees in your local area, but where did they get the seeds? … Read more