Plants

The new solar panels would filter light more efficiently.

Farmers May Not Have to Choose Between Crops and Solar Panels

With a new photovoltaic panel, researchers harness sunshine to harvest energy and food together, taking advantage of the full light spectrum

About 100 miles northwest of Mexico City in the UNESCO-designated Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, up to a billion of the brilliant-winged insects spend November to March clustered on branches.

A Ring of Fire, Millions of Monarchs and Other Rare Natural Phenomena Worth Traveling For

Be in the right place at the right time to witness these sublime sights

The flower measures roughly an inch across and is at least three times larger than all other known amber-encased blossoms.

See the Largest Known Flower Preserved in Amber

Aided by modern technology, researchers discovered the prehistoric blossom was a case of mistaken identity

Atlas Moth by Uday Hegde, the second-place winner in the butterflies and dragonflies category of this year's Close-up Photographer of the Year competition

These Awe-Inspiring Images Capture the World's Little Details

See this year's winners of the annual Close-up Photographer of the Year competition

Pollinators, including bees, face pressure from disease-causing organisms, habitat loss, climate change and other factors.

The World's First Vaccine for Honeybees Is Here

It could be a game-changer for beekeepers fighting American foulbrood, a disease that can wipe out entire colonies

This cross section of a sequoia in Yosemite National Park in California has markers identifying the dates of tree rings.

The Science Behind the Oldest Trees on Earth

How experts have determined that bristlecone pines, sequoias and baobabs have stood for thousands of years

Innovators may want to create soft robots that more accurately replicate the dynamics of an elephant’s trunk.

Seven Scientific Discoveries From 2022 That May Lead to New Inventions

Nature is a breeding ground for innovative solutions to everything from aging to plastic pollution

A view of the Shanidar Cave in Iraq’s Zagros Mountains, where some of the charred plant remains were discovered

Neanderthals Cooked Surprisingly Complex Meals

Charred food remnants provide insight into 70,000-year-old dietary practices

Under the right conditions, researchers say, some crop yields could increase by 50 percent or more.

Is Hacking Photosynthesis the Key to Increasing Crop Yields?

It’s an agricultural moonshot, but scientists hope to make plants like corn, wheat and barley as heat and drought resistant as cactus

A tiger shark swims above seagrass.

Tiger Sharks Carry Cameras to Help Scientists Map Seagrass

A new study found what might be the world's largest seagrass ecosystem: a 35,500-square-mile meadow in the Bahamas

The 6,000-year-old watermelon seeds from Uan Muhuggiag (left) border a child eating a modern watermelon.

Why Prehistoric Herders Didn't Spit Out Their Watermelon Seeds

Thousands of years ago, Saharans ate the kernels before the fruit became sweet

Darwin's signature on the note

Charles Darwin's Rare Autographed Manuscript Could Sell for $800,000

The English naturalist was responding to a magazine editor who had asked for a handwriting sample

Giraffe drinking with oxpecker birds in the background in South Africa

View 16 Breathtaking Images From the Nature Conservancy's Annual Photo Contest

The winning shots feature everything from glowing mushrooms to sauntering lions

An experimental vineyard at Cornell AgriTech’s McCarthy Farm in Geneva, New York, where researchers are studying hybrid grapes

Are Hybrid Grapes the Future of Wine?

Scientists, growers and winemakers are working with experimental varieties to adapt to the effects of climate change

The 2022 fall foliage map

This Interactive Map Will Help You Plan the Ultimate Leaf-Peeping Trip

Find the best times to admire fall colors across the country

Dehydrated carrageen looks nothing like the beautiful red fronds easily identified in coastal rocky pools.

A Brief History of Ireland's Carrageen Moss Pudding

The curious dessert—combining a seaweed found on the Emerald Isle's coast with dairy—lies in the hands of regular folks who enjoy a challenge

A vendor displays chili peppers at a local market in India. 

Why Do Some Humans Love Chili Peppers?

An anthropologist traces the origins and paths of one of his favorite kinds of plants

An adult spotted lanternfly

People are ‘Hunting’ Invasive Spotted Lanternflies—And You Should, Too

Officials urge the public to squish the bugs, which are damaging crops and trees in the eastern U.S.

Donkeys often trample plants in the deserts of the southwestern United States, including in Death Valley National Park in California.

Cougars Are Killing Feral Donkeys, and That’s Good for Wetlands

Mountain lions play an important role in the Death Valley ecosystem by preying on the introduced species

Eelgrass grows in the waters off Birch Island, Maine. The plant supports a bountiful and diverse ecosystem.

Why Eelgrass in the Atlantic Ocean Faces an Uphill Battle

The Ice Age left the plant off our East Coast with less genetic diversity than its relative in the Pacific

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