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Science | Life Science | Flowering Plants, Shrubs and Trees

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.

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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?


Rare Plants Quiz

 Rare Plants Quiz

Endangered animals get most of the headlines, but plenty of interesting plants are also facing extinction. Take our rare plants quiz and learn more. See more »

10 Plants Lost to History

 10 Plants Lost to History

Many plants are at risk of going the way of the dodo. Learn about some amazing plants we lost to history. See more »

How Orchids Work

 How Orchids Work

Orchids might be the sexiest flower in the greenhouse. Learn about different types of orchids and how to grow orchids at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Can plants think?

 Can plants think?

Can plants think? It would seem impossible since they have no brain but the answer is not so cut and dried. Learn more at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Do plants feel pain?

 Do plants feel pain?

Do plants feel pain? Scientists are learning that the possibility isn't as crazy as it sounds. Learn why at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Corpse Flower: When Nature Deceives

 Corpse Flower: When Nature Deceives

The Titan Arum is also known as the 'Corpse Flower' because of its rotting-flesh scent. See pictures of the Corpse Flower in this gallery. See more »

How Pollen Works

 How Pollen Works

Pollen grains are, in essence, plant sperm. Check out HowStuffWorks.com to learn how pollen works. See more »

 What are petunias?

The petunia is an annual flower that’s especially at home in the Southeastern portion of the United States. Learn more about petunias in the following article. See more »

 What are poppies?

If you like poppies, you're in good company -- they're the favored flower of the Greek goddess Demeter. Learn more about poppy flowers in this article. See more »

 What is urushiol?

Urushiol is the active chemical in poison ivy. Learn more about urushiol and how to properly remove poison ivy. See more »