Flowering plants, shrubs and trees provide the environment with much needed oxygen and fight soil erosion. They also provide food and shelter for many animals, as well as contribute to the fertility of soil with their dead leaves and flowers.


Coffee, a hot drink made from the roasted beans (seeds) of the coffee tree. Coffee is a popular beverage in North America, commonly consumed at breakfast or during the morning "coffee break" at work.

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  • Can plants think?

    Can plants think?

    Thinking allows us to solve problems, plan ahead and defend ourselves from outside threats. It's what separates us from "lower" life-forms like plants, right? Well, maybe not. See more »

  • Do plants feel pain?

    Do plants feel pain?

    Though they may be stuck in one place, plants have proven to possess a surprising array of capabilities. But the ability to feel pain? Scientists are learning that the possibility isn't as crazy as it sounds. See more »

  • How Grow Houses Work

    How Grow Houses Work

    Have you ever suspected your neighbor was up to something illegal? He's always home and he gets midnight deliveries. Doesn't he have a job? Maybe he does, just not the kind you think. See more »

  • How Kudzu Works

    How Kudzu Works

    They call kudzu the plant that ate the South for a reason. How did this leafy green legume make its way here all the way from Asia, and how has it managed to devour entire buildings? See more »

  • How Poison Ivy Works

    How Poison Ivy Works

    Poison ivy is often very difficult to spot. But if you come into contact with it, you'll soon know by the itchy, blistery rash that forms on your skin. Learn how poison ivy causes that rash, and how to get rid of it. See more »

  • How Pollen Works

    How Pollen Works

    Pollen grains are, in essence, plant sperm. But how do the grains get where they need to go, and what's the advantage of trusting your genetic future to the winds? See more »

  • How tall can a tree grow?

    How tall can a tree grow?

    For Jack and his beanstalk, the sky was the limit, but nature's giants hit a point at which they can't grow any taller. What prevents lofty trees like sequoias from soaring any higher? See more »

  • How Venus Flytraps Work

    How Venus Flytraps Work

    Plants that eat other creatures? It sounds like a genetic experiment gone awry. But there's actually nothing unnatural about it; carnivorous plants have been around for thousands of years. Find out all about the Venus Flytrap. See more »

  • What are frankincense and myrrh?

    What are frankincense and myrrh?

    If you've heard of frankincense and myrrh, it's probably because you're familiar with the biblical account of Jesus' birth. But have you ever wondered what exactly it was the three wise men gifted Christ? See more »

  • Why do leaves change color and turn red?

    Why do leaves change color and turn red?

    Autumn rolls out its very own red carpet to make a fashionable arrival. So how do falling leaves change colors to dramatic hues of crimson and scarlet? See more »

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