Socotra, the alien island wedged between the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, is home to the dragon blood tree: a source of dye, paint, medicine, varnish, and magic.
Orangutans, like all great apes, build nests. Sometimes these include pillows, blankets, and bunk beds.
The Church of One Tree in Santa Rosa, California, was built in 1873 out of a single giant redwood tree.
Turnips, black mustard, and cabbage together form a triangle of multi-chromosome hybrids: it’s where we get Indian mustard, Ethiopian mustard, and canola.
Some gardens grow only the plants mentioned in either the Bible or the works of Shakespeare.
The oldest living rose bush has been growing on the side of Hildesheim Cathedral for several hundred years.
India prevented people patenting their foods, traditional medicines, and yoga poses by recording them all in an online database: 34 million pages’ worth.
A mutated gene that improves reproductive success spreads widely – this is one of the principles of evolution. But sometimes other genes come along for the ride.
The 1952 Miller-Urey experiment synthesised amino acids essential to life from inorganic materials. The experiment’s vials were then sealed, and when scientists re-examined them 55 years later they were surprised at what was inside.
What do bullet ants and guarana have in common? The Sateré-Mawé people of Brazil.
Fukuoka, Japan, is home to an iconic ziggurat-like building topped by a dozen roof garden steps.
Between 1746 and 1792, seventeen students of Carl Linnaeus set out across the globe to collect plant and animal samples for his new taxonomy. Seven of these apostles died on the trip, and one would betray Linnaeus.
The loneliest tree in the world was knocked over by a drunk driver in 1978. The new loneliest tree in the world is very close to the southernmost point of New Zealand.
Some Australian birds make compost heaps.
A tree in New Zealand grows downwards-facing spikes for the first 15 or 20 years of its life; this is thought to be a remnant defence against gigantic now-extinct birds.
What are the fastest plants? The Morus alba comes with a natural catapult that moves at half the speed of sound.