The Selfish Plant 3 – Self-Incompatibility and Kin Recognition

When No Really Means No (In Plants) When it comes to sexual reproduction, nearly half of all flowering plant species are self-incompatible. That is, the pollen (male parts of flowers) produced by an individual plant is somehow recognized by the plant and rendered ineffectual in self-fertilizing the ovules (female parts…

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2016 “How Plants Work” News Highlights – October

From Flowers That Smell Like Stressed Bees To Corn That Smells Like “Help Me!” October 2016 seemed to feature an unusual number of quirky plant news stories. For example, we previously saw an orchid that smelled like body odor, presumably to attract mosquitos. Now here’s another weird flower smell… “A…

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Eau de Zombie? – The Malodorous “Voodoo Lilies” and “Corpse Flowers” – Why Do They Smell So Bad?

Signature Scents of Death & Decay In a previous post, we explored the discovery that plants emit a wide array of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and that, because of this, sometimes plants stink. But I think few would argue that the prize for the “stinkiest” plants would have to go…

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A Plant Sexual Thermostat? – New Information About Temperature Controlled Flowering

Hothouse Flowers Unlike animals, plants are not born with their “naughty bits”. That is, the sexual organs of plants, a.k.a., flowers, are typically formed after a period of so-called vegetative growth. In other words, plants first go through a vegetative stage of development (think shoots and leaves, over and over…

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