Flowers

Resurrecting the Sublime recreates the scent of Hibiscadelphus wilderianus, which went extinct in 1912.

What Do These Extinct Plants Smell Like?

A multidisciplinary collaboration resurrects three types of flora lost due to 20th-century colonialism

Archaeologists hope the flowers will shed new light on rituals conducted by the ancient residents of Teotihuacán.

Cool Finds

1,800-Year-Old Flower Bouquets Found in Tunnel Beneath Teotihuacán Pyramid

The well-preserved plants were likely used in a ritual ceremony

On the center plant, poking out from the stem is a bent side stalk, which holds up the arm of the plant with a flower.

Scientists Discover a New Plant Organ

The structure, called a cantil, holds up the flower-bearing arm of the thale cress, a long-studied species

Around 1,200 residents stopped by to touch, photograph, and view the Alameda corpse flower. (Not pictured)

Corpse Flower Steals the Spotlight at Abandoned California Gas Station

A local nursery owner grew the rare botanical wonder and shared the bloom with the community, where they could touch and interact with the plant

The southern African orchid Disa forficaria attracts male longhorn beetles.

Extremely Rare Orchid Tricks Horny Beetles Into Carrying Its Pollen

The flower found in southern Africa releases a chemical so irresistible to longhorn beetles that they attempt to mate with it

The National Park Service predicts that peak bloom will take place between April 2 and 5.

Virtually Celebrate Peak Bloom With Ten Fun Facts About Cherry Blossoms

This year's National Cherry Blossom Festival will feature a mix of in-person and online events

A blowfly on lavender flowers. Flies are the unsung heroes of pollination. They visit flowers to stoke up on energy-rich nectar and protein-rich pollen and transport pollen from flower to flower in the process.

How Much Do Flies Help With Pollination?

The much-maligned insect could be the key to ensuring future supplies of many of the world’s favorite foods

While blooming, the Amazonian cactus releases a unique sweet scent similar to honeysuckles and gardenias, but that scent is short-lived and turns foul after two hours.

Education During Coronavirus

Watch First Time-Lapse Footage of a Rare Moonflower Cactus Blossoming

The rare Amazonian cactus blooms only once a year for 12 hours

Only the flower on the far left is real. The rest are made of fungus.

New Research

This Fungus Makes Convincing Fake Flowers From Scratch

The yellow, flower-shaped growths lure in pollinator insects to spread the fungus’ spores

The phenomenon of increasing yearly pollen loads is accelerating.

New Research

Climate Change Is Making Allergy Season Worse

New research finds climate change is making allergy season arrive earlier and bring higher pollen loads in North America

To counter a lack of biodiversity in corpse flowers, horticulturalists took inspiration from “studbooks,” a method used by breeders and zoos to prevent inbreeding

To Save the Corpse Flower, Horticulturalists Are Playing the Role of Matchmakers

Genetic diversity is needed to produce viable plants. Scientists are using animal breeding methods to conserve the titan arum

The planets in our solar system all orbit the Sun in one shared plane.

Ask Smithsonian

Why Do the Planets All Orbit the Sun in the Same Plane?

You've got questions. We've got experts

Pollinators perceive the higher levels of UV-absorbing pigments as a darker hue, which could be confusing when they try to scope out colorful flowers to land on.

New Research

Flowers Are Changing Color in Response to Climate Change

As temperatures and ozone levels rise, blossoms are adjusting their UV pigmentation

A plant press used by researchers in the Hengduan Mountains

How Ancient Monsoons and Tectonic Shifts Shaped This Flowering Mountain Hotspot

The stunning biodiversity of alpine plants in China’s Hengduan Mountains can be traced back 30 million years, according to a new study

Researchers tested their pollen-carrying bubbles on lily, azalea and campanula flowers (shown).

New Research

Soap Bubbles Can Pollinate Flowers, but Can They Replace Bees?

New research shows that carefully calibrated soap bubbles cause pear trees to bear fruit

An animal care staff member at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium feeds some Magellanic penguins.

Covid-19

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Maintaining Tourist Sites During COVID-19

Despite closures, essential workers are the ones holding down the fort at these popular travel destinations

Paratype of Florida's rare blue calamintha bee (male)

Blue Bee Feared to Be Extinct Is Found in Florida

First discovered in 2011, the rare species reappeared recently after nearly a decade of eluding scientists' watch

Arches made of yellow orchids as seen at the New York Botanical Garden.

Virtual Travel

Watch These Six Flower Bloom Events From Your Couch

Tulips, cherry blossoms and orchids supply a ray of hope during self-isolation

Mary Vaux Walcott, Cardinal Flower, 1880

Covid-19

Shuttered Museums Use Social Media to Share Bouquets of Floral Artwork

Hundreds of museums are participating in an online attempt to spread joy as COVID-19 keeps their galleries empty

Photographers gather at the eastern edge of El Capitan in February, eager to capture Yosemite's "firefall."

Nine Rare Natural Phenomena Worth Traveling For

You have to be in the right place at the right time to see these awe-inspiring events

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