1. Plants

    Rare-plant hunters race against time to save at-risk species

    One in five plants is at risk of extinction. Meet the rare plant hunters who rappel down cliffs and trek through forests to save them.

  2. Plants

    Scientists Say: Nectar

    Nectar is a fluid filled with sugar that plants — especially flowers — produce. They use it to attract animals that will then spread their pollen to another plant.

  3. Plants

    Plants don’t grow well when always on high alert

    Plants make bitter-tasting chemicals to defend themselves against hungry bugs. But they pay a cost for always being on alert, scientists find.

  4. Plants

    The plant world has some true speed demons

    Some plants can fling, snap and hop at dizzying speeds. Such botanical gymnastics gives lie to the idea that all plants are slow, boring stick-in-the-muds.

  5. Plants

    Ouch! Lemons and other plants can cause a special sunburn

    These are among a host of plants (many found in the refrigerator vegetable drawer) that produce chemicals that will kill skin cells when activated by sunlight. The result can be a serious, localized sunburn — sometimes with blistering.

  6. Physics

    An ancient plant inspires a new lab tool

    Researchers have designed a lab tool that moves liquids from one place to another by mimicking a plant called a liverwort.

  7. Plants

    Scientists Say: Invasive species

    These are foreign species that are causing problems for native organisms and ecosystems.

  8. Climate

    Analyze This: Climate change could make food less healthy

    Levels of important nutrients are lower in crops exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. How high? Try levels expected to be typical 30 years from now.

  9. Plants

    Venus flytraps tend not to eat their pollinators

    A first-ever study of what pollinates a Venus flytrap finds little overlap between the critters that serve as pollinators and those that are prey.

  10. Plants

    Blooms on ‘chocolate’ tree are crazy-hard to pollinate

    The cacao trees must be pollinated or those seeds that give us chocolate will never form. The rub: The trees’ flowers challenge all but some of the tiniest pollen-moving insects.

  11. 860_main_chocolatehearts.gif

    Increasingly, chocolate-makers turn to science

    Chocolate is delicious and may even have health benefits. To make sure there’s enough to go around, scientists are growing heartier cacao trees.

  12. Ecosystems

    Here’s why scientists have been fertilizing the Arctic

    For more than 30 years, scientists have been fertilizing small parcels of Arctic tundra. Here’s what happens when you push an ecosystem to the brink.