Plants

The hollow bone containing the seeds was discovered at a Roman-era settlement in 2017.

Romans Stored Hallucinogenic Seeds in a Vial Made From an Animal Bone

Ancient scholars wrote about the medicinal, poisonous and psychoactive properties of black henbane seeds

The newly discovered tree would have supported a wide crown of leaves over a narrow trunk, scientists say.

Rare Fossil Shows Trees Looked Very Different 350 Million Years Ago

The newly discovered specimen looks like something from the imagination of Dr. Seuss, and it sheds light on a little-understood era of prehistory

Casts of the ancient chewing gum pieces, which were found in Sweden and date to between 9,540 and 9,890 years ago.

Prehistoric Chewing Gum Reveals Diet, Oral Health of Stone Age Teenagers

From preserved DNA, researchers identified which plants and animals the young people would have eaten or used for making clothing—and they found one case of a severe gum infection

An oak peacock moth lands on a window behind dancing wedding guests, illuminated in red light. This photograph won the category for butterflies and dragonflies.

See 11 Winning Images From the Close-Up Photographer of the Year Awards

Focused on little details of animals and plants, these stunning shots spotlight the world’s tiny wonders

Kelp cultivated in underwater forests could help curb climate change, both because of the carbon these forests capture and because products made from kelp can reduce carbon emissions.

Could Sinking Tons of Seaweed to the Ocean Floor Help Combat Climate Change?

Submerged seaweed can store carbon at the bottom of the sea, but how effective the strategy will be remains unclear

Monarch butterflies' signature white spots could help them fly—and inspire better drones.

Seven Scientific Discoveries From 2023 That Could Lead to New Inventions

Biologists learned lots about animals and plants this year, and their findings could inspire better robots, medicine and environmental technologies

Two fossilized specimens, each less than 2.5 inches in length, were originally thought to be plants. Now, scientists say they are preserved hatchling turtles.

Once Thought to Be Plants, These Rare Fossils Are Actually Baby Turtles, Scientists Say

The prehistoric specimens found in Colombia could represent one of the oldest and largest turtle species to ever exist

Tamarix aphylla can survive in salty environments by excreting saline water from its leaves.

This Desert Plant's Salty 'Sweat' Can Collect Water From the Air

The athel tamarisk's hydration trick could improve on human techniques to harvest water in dry environments, researchers say

Dust from the Chicxulub impact may have plunged the planet into a cold, dark winter and halted photosynthesis.

Dust May Have Triggered the Global Winter That Killed the Dinosaurs

A new study, based on modeling, suggests fine silicate particles could have blocked sunlight and shut down photosynthesis across the globe

Carved Cucurbita pepo traditionally grace stoops around Halloween.

Five Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Jack-O’-Lantern

A horticulturalist with the New York Botanical Garden provides advice for prolonging the life of your pumpkin

Green tea's enduring popularity is reflected in the "teacup without handle" emoji (left). The "hot beverage" emoji (right) takes its cue from another tea tradition: black tea.

What Emoji Tell Us About the History of Tea

From ancient China to 20th-century America, the aromatic beverage has undergone a dramatic evolution

An experimental replica of shell beads with Natufian red organic colorant made from the roots of Rubiaceae plants

Archaeologists Find the First Red Paint Made From Plants

Hunter-gatherers cooked up the alluring pigment in the Eastern Mediterranean 15,000 years ago

Hops give beer its bitter taste and aroma.

Hoppy Beer Could Be Climate Change's Next Victim

Warming temperatures and drier conditions in Europe could continue to lead to declines in hop yields and hop quality, a new study finds

Early humans in Europe snacked on seaweed and aquatic plants for thousands of years, though how they prepared and ate them is unclear.

Early Europeans Ate Seaweed for Thousands of Years

Researchers found biomarkers of seaweed and other aquatic plants in samples of dental plaque

Pepper X, the world's hottest pepper

The World Has a New Hottest Pepper

Pepper X is three times spicier than the previous record-holder, the Carolina Reaper

Travis Gienger attends the weigh-in for his 2,749-pound gourd at the 2023 World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. 

Minnesota Man Sets World Record With 2,749-Pound Pumpkin

Travis Gienger is a horticulture teacher who grows his award-winning gourds in his backyard

If you want to cut meat out of your diet but are having a hard time, a new study suggests your genetics may be responsible.

Maintaining a Vegetarian Diet Might Be in Your Genes

New research has identified three genes that are strongly linked to vegetarianism and 31 others that might also play a role in sticking to a meatless diet

Fossilized footprints in White Sands National Park

North America's Oldest Known Footprints Point to Earlier Human Arrival to the Continent

New dating methods have added more evidence that these fossils date to 23,000 years ago, pushing back migration to the Americas by thousands of years

Rafflesia kemumu in the rainforest of Sumatra.

The World's Largest and Smelliest Flower Is at Risk of Extinction, Scientists Say

Researchers are calling for urgent protections for corpse flowers in the Rafflesia genus, which live only in remote rainforests of Southeast Asia

Isabella Bird ascended the 14,259-foot-tall Longs Peak, now part of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Following British Explorer Isabella Bird's Footsteps Through the Rockies, 150 Years Later

The intrepid Victorian-era author proved that a lady’s life could be in the mountains, and I am forever grateful for that

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