Spring has sprung: four floral signs that winter is over

The weather is getting better, and signs of growth can be seen outside. Lots of flowers will be growing during spring in the hope of being pollinated and producing seed. Tulips and daffodils are well-known spring flowers, but what about others? Here are four flowers to look out for now and over the next few months.…Read more Spring has sprung: four floral signs that winter is over

Photo: Niels Kliim/Flickr.

Five answers to the question ‘why plants?’

This month, Erica wrote about the growing presence of science in the public domain, and how this can only be a good thing. However, although chemistry and physics – traditionally considered ‘geeky’ subjects – have grown in popularity, the plant sciences are lagging behind. Personally I think plants are fantastic and I could talk about them all day.…Read more Five answers to the question ‘why plants?’

Mustard seeds (Dennis Wilkinson/Flickr)

Conserving our crops’ genetic diversity

More than 22 years have passed since the Convention on Biological Diversity was signed. It called for international efforts to conserve the world’s biodiversity, which had long been suffering the effects of human activities. Since then, there has been a lot of debate over what the best way of securing this biodiversity is. But really, there…Read more Conserving our crops’ genetic diversity

A pinch of Christmas spice

Have you ever wondered where Christmas spices come from or what they are? Or just fancy learning some random Christmas related facts to mention over Christmas lunch? Then read on! Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and star anise are all evergreen plant-derived spices that we use copiously at Christmas in British cooking. They are now widely available,…Read more A pinch of Christmas spice

Christmas plants around the world

Several plant species are associated with Christmas in the UK – from holly and ivy to poinsettias and conifers. But many other plants symbolise Christmas worldwide. Here, Javier Galdon-Armero, Amelia Frizell-Armitage and Mabon Elis showcase eight of them. Oak (badnjak), Serbia Botanical name: Several species in the genus Quercus. Geographical distribution: Present all over the northern hemisphere, and obviously…Read more Christmas plants around the world

Christmas in the plant world

The tradition of filling our houses with evergreen plants during the winter can be traced back centuries when evergreen plants were symbols of eternal life and a reminder that spring sunshine would return. Now we fill our houses with seasonal evergreen plants for Christmas decorations.  Have you ever wondered what these plants are? And what…Read more Christmas in the plant world