Category Archives: Botany for Gardeners

Thigmo-what?

My pole beans, which got a rather late start, are finally climbing their way up the strings on my bean tower. I’m always impressed that the plants know just what to do. Those reaching tendrils that come into contact with … Continue reading

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Getting Around

It was a lovely hike, even if the plants were all still dormant. Coming back to the car, I bent over to unlace my hiking boots, only to discover that my laces were a solid mass of stickers—graceful foxtails, round … Continue reading

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Ferns Having Babies

“There’s something wrong with my fern! It has dots all over the leaves. It must be some sort of disease! What should I spray it with?” I was sitting at our county extension’s Master Gardener Help Desk, answering questions when … Continue reading

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Good Vibrations

Can plants hear? At first glance, this seems like a silly question. Plants don’t have ears, so of course they can’t hear. But wait—do organisms need ears to hear? What is hearing, anyway? Given that sound consists of a series … Continue reading

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Don’t Prune that Crown!

It’s a common question. You’ve just planted a new tree. In the process, the plant has lost a significant portion of its roots—sometimes up to 95! Should you prune back the crown to compensate? The intuitive answer would be yes. … Continue reading

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Plant Science for Gardeners

New gardening books seem to pop up as regularly as springtime dandelions. Most simply rehash what has been said before—perhaps with a new twist or better photos. But How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do (Science … Continue reading

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Moss, the Weird Plant

Moss. To those of us in Colorado, moss conjures images of soft green blankets cushioning the forest floor, or carpeting the north side of a tree in a verdant forest. To my daughter in western Washington, moss is that soggy … Continue reading

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