21st Century Botany

-Selected Articles-

Do we underestimate the power of plants and trees?

Read the article on the BBC's website

From the BBC: "Research suggests plants might be capable of more than we suspect. Some scientists - controversially - describe plants as 'intelligent'. They argue a better understanding of their capabilities could help us solve some of the world's thorniest problems." This 21st Century botanic viewpoint of plants might forever change the way we think about plants.

This article is from the BBC Audio Program "The Inquiry," first aired on November 17th, 2015. The 23 minute podcast is absolutely fascinating - listen to the podcast here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p037mx00

The Hidden Internet In The Soil


Read the article on the BBC's website

Nature's information superhighway is right below our feet and many of us do not even realize it. This is a great introduction to the fungal network that facilitates diverse negotiations between plants. [November 2014]

Photo Courtesy: Gordon Welters for the The New York Times

More on this idea of plant communication from German Forest Ranger Peter Wohlleben who has concluded from his many years of working in the forest that: "trees in the forest are social beings. They can count, learn and remember . . . by sending electrical signals across a fungal network he dubbed the Wood Wide Web." Read this short article published in the New York Times in January 2016 by clicking here. Or check out his book at this link on Amazon.com.

So, like us, it is likely plants are also 'social creatures.'

A World Without Plants


Read the article in the NTBG's Bulletin

A powerful and fascinating article on what our world would be like without plants. (7 pages) [November 2012]

Sorry, Vegans: Brussels Sprouts Like To Live, Too


Read the article in The New York Times

"The more that scientists learn about the complexity of plants ... the more impressed they become, and the less easily we can dismiss plants as so much fiberfill backdrop, passive sunlight collectors." (2 pages) [December 2009]

Do Plants Think?


Read the article in Scientific American

Daniel Chamovitz, scientist and author of What A Plant Knows, unveils the surprising world of plants that see, feel, smell - and remember. (3 pages) [June 2012]

How Plants Respond To Positive Vibes: 'Talking' Mechanism Is A Mystery


Read the article on nbcnews.com

It's known that plants can "communicate" via airborne chemical signals, but this article explores the potential for "communication" via acoustic signals. (2 pages) [May 2013]

The Intelligent Plant


Read the article in The New Yorker

A pretty comprehensive article by bestselling author Michael Pollan on comparisons between plants, people, and animals, focusing especially on plant "intelligence." (19 pages) [December 2013]

Jet Fuel By The Acre

Read the article in The New York Times

"Advances in molecular genetics and DNA sequencing technology have allowed a San Diego start-up to domesticate jatropha, a plant with seeds that produce high-quality oil that can be refined into low-carbon biofuel." And it's a plant we have in our gardens! (4 pages) [December 2013]

Mangroves Marching North


Read the article in The New York Times

Mangroves are popping up in areas they've never been seen before - this article explores why this might be and the effects their expansion may have. (3 pages) [December 2013]

Artificial Leaves


Read the article in The New York Times

A sustainable localized hydrogen energy source based on photosynthesis appears to be tantalizingly close. But consumers first need to become accustomed to what else is needed for it to work in order for it to succeed. (3 pages) [March 2014]