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Latest Plant taxonomy Stories

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2010-03-23 09:30:05

New research confirms that early angiosperms were weedy, fast-growing Fossils and their surrounding matrix can provide insights into what our world looked like millions of years ago. Fossils of angiosperms, or flowering plants (which are the most common plants today), first appear in the fossil record about 140 million years ago. Based on the material in which these fossils are deposited, it is thought that early angiosperms must have been weedy, fast-growing shrubs and herbs found in highly...

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2010-03-15 15:40:20

Findings fuel ongoing debates over different approaches to dating the tree of life Flowering plants may be considerably older than previously thought, says a new analysis of the plant family tree. Previous studies suggest that flowering plants, or angiosperms, first arose 140 to 190 million years ago. Now, a paper to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences pushes back the age of angiosperms to 215 million years ago, some 25 to 75 million years earlier than either...

2010-01-21 13:38:23

One hundred million years ago the earth looked very different from how it does today. Continents were joining and breaking apart, dinosaurs were roaming the earth, and flowering plants were becoming more widespread. The southern hemisphere supercontinent known as Gondwana formed around 180-200 mya during the breakup of Pangaea and then began to split apart about 167 mya. As scientists reconstruct the history of these land masses and life during this period, many questions arise. For example,...

2009-12-01 13:15:42

Superior 'leaf plumbing' gave flowering plants evolutionary advantage To Charles Darwin it was an 'abominable mystery' and it is a question which has continued to vex evolutionists to this day: when did flowering plants evolve and how did they come to dominate plant life on earth? Today a study in Ecology Letters reveals the evolutionary trigger which led to early flowering plants gaining a major competitive advantage over rival species, leading to their subsequent boom and abundance. The...

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2009-09-23 13:44:44

If past is prelude, trees and shrubs may have a harder time keeping pace with global warming Can we predict which species will be most vulnerable to climate change by studying how they responded in the past? A new study of flowering plants provides a clue. An analysis of more than 5000 plant species reveals that woody plants "” such as trees and shrubs "” adapted to past climate change much more slowly than herbaceous plants did. If the past is any indicator of the future, woody...

2009-09-14 13:00:00

Researchers work on part of Darwin's 'abominable mystery' Approximately 120-130 million years ago, one of the most significant events in the history of the Earth occurred: the first flowering plants, or angiosperms, arose. In the late 1800s, Darwin referred to their development as an "abominable mystery." To this day, scientists are still challenged by this "mystery" of how angiosperms originated, rapidly diversified, and rose to dominance. (See the January 2009 issue of the American Journal...

2009-09-03 09:51:20

Flowering plants are all around us and are phenomenally successful"”but how did they get to be so successful and where did they come from? This question bothered Darwin and others and a paper published in the September issue of the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society indicates that their ability to adapt anatomically may be the answer. Sherwin Carlquist, a research botanist at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and recipient of the Linnean Medal for Botany, has spent his career...

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2009-08-21 09:55:00

New algorithm explores future changes in plant populationsThe ability to envisage the future may be closer than you would think. A recent paper by Sean Hammond and Karl Niklas in the August 2009 issue of the American Journal of Botany (available here) presents an algorithm that may be used to predict the future dynamics of plant communities, an increasingly interesting area of study as significant environmental changes, such as global climate change and invasive species, are affecting current...

2009-07-14 11:30:00

New findings from Queen's University biologists show that in the plant world, bigger isn't necessarily better."Until now most of the thinking has suggested that to be a good competitor in the forest, you have to be a big plant," says Queen's Biology professor Lonnie Aarssen. "But our research shows it's virtually the other way around."Previous studies revealed that larger plant species monopolize sunlight, water and other resources, limiting the number of smaller plant species that can exist...

2009-07-13 11:06:15

The appearance of many species of flowering plants on Earth, and especially their relatively rapid dissemination during the Cretaceous (approximately 100 million years ago) can be attributed to their capacity to transform the world to their own needs. In an article in Ecology Letters, Wageningen ecologists Frank Berendse and Marten Scheffer postulate that flowering plants changed the conditions during the Cretaceous period to suit themselves. The researchers have consequently provided an...


Latest Plant taxonomy Reference Libraries

Common wilkiea, Wilkiea huegeliana
2014-02-15 08:54:49

Wilkiea huegeliana is a common rainforest plant from the Monimiaceae family. It is commonly referred to by such names as Common Wilkiea, Tetra beech and Veiny Wilkiea. Although originally described by Louis René Tulasne, it was given its current official name by Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle. W. huegeliana grows as a shrub or small tree that can reach a height of 25 feet. It has a stem diameter of 4 inches. Its trunk is crooked and irregular and is not buttressed. It has smooth, brown or...

Redbay, Persea borbonia
2014-02-15 07:52:34

Persea borbonia is an evergreen tree in the Lauraceae family. The species may commonly be referred to as Redbay, Tisswood, Scrubbay, Shorebay and Swampbay. P. borbonia grows as either a small tree or a large shrub. It contains evergreen leaves that reach between 3 and 6 inches long. They are lance-shaped. They are alternately arranged and give off a spicy smell when crushed. The leaves may be a light green to a very dark green. They produce fruit called drupes, which are small and blue or...

Peruvian nutmeg, Laurelia sempervirens
2014-02-14 11:29:19

Laurelia sempervirens is a large, evergreen tree species. The species may also be commonly referred to as Peruvian nutmeg, Tihue, Trihue, Chilean Laurel or Chilean Sassafras. L. sempervirens belongs to the Atherospermataceae family. The plant can commonly be found growing naturally only in Chile. L. sempervirens plants are found in warm subtropical or tropical habitats. The trees often experience high heat, rainfall and humidity in its environment. L. sempervirens are best grown soils that...

Ribbonwood, Idiospermum australiense
2014-02-14 10:58:56

Idiospermum australiense is the only species in the Idiospermum genus. The flowering tree species belongs to the Calycanthaceae family. The plant may also be commonly known as the Ribbonwood or the Idiot fruit. I. australiense is one of the oldest and most primitive known flowering plants. It has grown in the Daintree Rainforest of Queensland, Australia for about 120 million years. The species is only found in wet lowland areas of the forest, where it grows together in the same area in...

Yellow sassafras, Doryphora sassafras
2014-02-10 08:46:14

Doryphora sassafras is a species of evergreen tree in the Atherospermataceae family. It is commonly referred to as Sassafras, Yellow sassafras, Golden sassafras, Canary sassafras or Golden deal. D. sassafras is a straight trunked tree with a smaller crown. It has been known to grow to a height of 82 to 105 feet. Its trunk can reach a diameter of 4 feet. It contains glossy green leaves that appear opposite on the stem. The leaves measure 3 to 4 inches long and .8 to 1.6 inches wide. The...

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