Category Archives: Botany

Finding the kernel of truth

Ever wondered where the expression “a kernel of truth” comes from? It is fascinating to me that “truth” is associated with plant kernels. Why this association? Is “truth” hard? Or is “truth” hard to find? Perhaps then, another question could … Continue reading

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Meeting with Maya-caceae

Wading in a small shallow backwater rivulet in northern Bahia, Brazil, brought me to a plant family that I had never seen before – the Mayacaceae. I had only managed to take a quick photo but back home I managed … Continue reading

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Towers built on turd – the Tayloria mosses

The human-made structures that we know as towers must have been inspired by mosses. Or maybe humans drew the idea for the design of towers from the superconscious, where the form of moss capsules are imprinted on the fabric of … Continue reading

Posted in Appreciation, Botany, Mosses, Must see plants, Plant Curios, Plant Morphology, Tasmanian plants | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The metamorphosis of plants – a living example

What is a flower actually? How do they develop? The subject of plant developmental is a very vibrant field of study, and in our modern age, scientists are using advanced molecular techniques and model species to pry into the secrets … Continue reading

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Leaf whispering in the tropics at the School for Field Studies

“A traveller should be a botanist, for in all views plants make up the chief embellishment”. Although Charles Darwin said this almost two hundred years ago, his recommendation remains as valid now as it was then. Students of The School … Continue reading

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Meeting one of the world’s largest Philodendrons

Meeting giants is a major preoccupation in my life, but some plant giants come in all forms. One of these is in the form of a hemiepiphyte, a root climber that is found in the tropical jungles of south America. … Continue reading

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A post-ecstasy in Apostasia

Apostasia is derived from the Greek apostasia, meaning “separation or divorce”, in allusion to the distinct floral features which distinguish it from most other orchids. I learnt about this orchid genus a long time ago, and way back then, it … Continue reading

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The fern that wants to be a liverwort

Filmy ferns, or ferns belonging to the family Hymenophyllaceae, are an interesting group of plants. They are among some of the earliest lineages of ferns, but at the same time, they has a very simple structure, as far as ferns … Continue reading

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Trimenia – A living botanical dinosaur

The primitiveness of plants is a man-made concept – a way to ‘organize’ the world. Nevertheless, if a concept that a plant is primitive inspires one to appreciate the uniqueness of a species, the concept of primitiveness has done what … Continue reading

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How many plants are there in the world?

How many plants exist? I was doing some literature research asking specifically how many trees are there in the world and amazingly, it took me half a day before I managed to get a reliable scientific reference that quotes a … Continue reading

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