Botany

Botany is a branch of biology focused on the study of plant life. Learn about the science of botany in this section.

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How does hemp work? What do rope and "organic clothes" and drugs have to do with each other?

Mexican jumping beans are small, brown beans that seem to have a life of their own as they jump and move around. But what is it that makes them jump?

By Nicole Antonio

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

By Clint Pumphrey

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How can something as delicate and delicious as a cranberry thrive in something as filthy as a bog? Blame it on the durability of this most unusual and hardy plant.

By Russel Avery

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?

By Jacob Silverman

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.

By Laurie L. Dove

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.

By Laurie L. Dove & Desiree Bowie

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Autumn rolls out its very own red carpet to make a fashionable arrival. So why do falling leaves change colors to vibrant hues of crimson, yellow and orange?

By Jennifer Horton

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?

By Victoria Vogt

Mangroves provide a habitat for wildlife such as fish, birds, deer and insects. They also stabilize shorelines, protect against storm surges and improve water quality. What's not to love?

By Stephanie Parker

Snake plants are attractive and virtually ironclad houseplants, almost impossible to kill, though some of the hype about them acting as air purifying filters has been overblown.

By Jesslyn Shields

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An interesting defense mechanism recently observed in tomato plants has caterpillars turning on themselves rather than remaining vegetarian.

By Laurie L. Dove

You can't find trees taller than these behemoths. But do you know which is the tallest tree in the world?

By Jesslyn Shields

In the quest for the title of world's oldest tree, there's some stiff competition, as well as questions surrounding the way we define "oldest."

By Laurie L. Dove & Sascha Bos