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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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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.

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.

Corpse Flower: When Nature Deceives

The Titan Arum is also known as the "corpse flower" because of its rotting-flesh scent. The flower rarely blossoms, even in the wild. See pictures of the corpse flower in this gallery.

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?

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.

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.

What is urushiol?

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

How Cinnamon Works

Many people think of cinnamon simply as a condiment that makes sweet treats taste even better, but the spice has had many, diverse uses over time. Could it have some medicinal properties, too?

How Cranberry Bogs Work

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.

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?

Why does the stink plant stink?

The corpse flower looks like a giant phallus and smells like a rotting animal, the perfect addition to any garden. So how can gardeners get their gloved hands on one of these unique specimens? Or can they?

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?

How Wheat Works

Ten-tier wedding cakes, bagels slathered with cream cheese and slim, crusty baguettes -- we owe them all to wheat. What's the story behind this ancient, ubiquitous food crop?

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.

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?

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.

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.

Where does the color come from in purple cabbage?

Nature uses color in lots of different ways. Find out why some types of cabbage are purple and what this means.

How can the grass on the greens at a golf course be so perfect?

How can the grass on the greens at a golf course be so perfect? What are they doing that's different from a normal lawn? Could my lawn look like this?

How can there be seedless grapes? How can they reproduce?

There is a good chance that if you go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of grapes that they will be of the seedless variety. If the grapes are seedless, how are they able to produce new grapes? Find out the answer to that question in this article.

How does hemp work?

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

How do Mexican jumping beans work?

A fair number of cartoons feature "Mexican jumping beans." For example, Speedy Gonzalez is trying to outwit a foe and uses Mexican jumping beans to escape. What I want to know is: Are Mexican jumping beans for r

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?

Can grass seed grow on a lava rock as well as it can grow on soil?

Grass seed can grow just about anywhere, just as long as they have plenty of water and nutrients. Can grass grow on lava rocks as well as it can on soil, though? Find out the answer to this question in this article from HowStuffWorks.

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