My fiancée’s Dracaena marginata enjoying the morning sun
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A beautiful, mature philodendron xanadu. I love how its “trunk” looks just like a mini version of the selloum
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Aliens are probably involved.

America’s pungent corpse flowers are all mysteriously blooming at once

Botanists across the US are trying to figure out why so many titan arums – better known as corpse flowers – are blooming simultaneously around the country this year.

This is super weird, because there have only been 157 recorded blooms ever between 1889 and 2008. But this year in the US alone, at least seven flowers have bloomed.


Somatic embryogenesis is the process of converting a somatic, non-reproductive cell into a meristematic embryonic state. This process is based on the fact that plant cells are totipotent, meaning that they have the ability to convert from their present tissue type to an undifferentiated form, allowing the plant cell to begin regenerating shoots, roots, leaves, and other organs. Totipency means that a plant could theoretically regenerate itself from a single cell and this amazing ability is utilized by the horticultural and agricultural industry to massively propagate different plants from small amounts of starting material. By taking a piece of the plant and exposing it to growing conditions that cause the cells to revert to the embryonic state, scientists and growers can then induce these undifferentiated cells to begin forming new plantlets. Above are GIFs of leaf cuttings induced to undergo somatic embryogenesis. After a sufficient amount of these undifferentiated cells is produced, the cuttings can be moved to different media that causes them to start forming roots, shoots, and leaves. 

anonymous asked:

What is your favorite or most weird bit of wildlife knowledge?

Fig trees do not have visible flowers and can only be pollinated by fig wasps. Their flowers form on the inside of a structure called a synconium, which later becomes the fruit that we eat. Depending on the species, the tiny fig wasp will either crawl inside the synconium to lay her eggs, or she will inject them using a very long ovipositor. The eggs hatch inside the fig, but only the females have wings. They mate and crawl out of the fig to continue their life cycles, but the males die inside the fruit, and their corpses are digested by an enzyme called ficain. 

Some varieties of fig will not produce ripe fruit unless they are pollinated. For this reason, figs are often considered non-vegetarian, even though the wasps are completely broken down by the time the fruit ripens.