Berry Go Round #16

Welcome to Berry Go Round #16. Berry Go Round is a plant oriented blog carnival. Here is the home page for the carnival. Here is the submission form. The previous Berry Go Round was here, at Gravity’s Rainbow. The next Berry Go Round will also be at Gravity’s Rainbow. Submit your stuff!

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Not everything in Texas is secessionists, disgruntled Republicans and Creationists, as is demonstrated by the excellent photography and writeup, Torrey’s Yucca: great natural history, at Flora of the Texas Rolling Plains:

Torrey’s yucca, Yucca torreyi … I was out botanizing yesterday south of Abilene (Texas,USA) in Abilene State Park and found a good number of these monocots in full flower.

I love the term “botanizing.” The Yucca, an agave, has some interesting behavior and evolution that you can read about in this post, in particular an intimate relationship with a moth…unsurprisingly known as the yucca moth.

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Another example of mutualism is covered at Denim and Tweed, in Ants trim trees for more living space:

The ant species Allomerus octoarticulatus is part of a classic protection mutualism with the tropical tree Cordia nodosa, in which the plant grows structures called domatia that provide shelter for a colony of ants, and nutrient rich “food bodies” for the ants to feed on. The ants, in turn…

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Everything you want to know about Mutualism vs. Parasitism is now available at Locust Blog. In summary form.

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The species of the week at Yips and Howls, for some week in mid-April, was the Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens). The author was able to photograph the elusive flowers.

I snapped numerous pictures of what must seem as common in the Sonoran desert as Douglas firs in the Pacific Northwest….Ocotillo is brilliantly adapted to its environment. It grows easily from seed and for most of the year looks like brown, dead stalks. But photosynthesizing tissue coating newer stalks converts sunlight into sugars.

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The plant evolutionary story is getting some revision. Note the following from ScienceNews:

Newly discovered fossilized pollen spores suggest that modern plant life evolved earlier than previously thought… Until now, the earliest fossil evidence of vascular land plants — plants with special tissues to efficiently transport water, minerals and food — came from the early Silurian period, which started about 444 million years ago. Now, fossils have been found that show vascular land plants existed in the mid to late Ordovician period, as early as 450 million years ago, the scientists say.

Paleoblog has this covered in Origin of the Earliest Vascular Land Plants.

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Peter Raven is on the lecture circuit, and one of his talks was blogged by Becky Robert at The Scott Arboretum’s blog: Why Plant Conservation.

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Huckleberry Days blog has Bloodroot: a wild ‘poppy’.

Bloodroot is an easy species to identify, with its single, eight-petalled, white flower cupped by the rounded, lobed green leaves. But in case you aren’t certain what you are seeing, take a closer look at the leaves. Bloodroot is in the poppy family…

And while you are over on HDB, have a look at instructions on “How to hunt for truffles“. I know, I know, truffles are not plants, but the roots they grow on are plants. Plant roots, actually.

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And now a little Applied Plantology culled from the spam:

Organic Health tells us How to start an organic garden.

Acai Berry Info Blog tells us How To Buy Acai In Its “Best” Form.

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3 Responses to “Berry Go Round #16”

  1. May 2nd, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Liz at Yips and Howls says:

    Great assortment of plant readings here. I noticed one small error in the link to my posting on Ocotillo. The name of my blog is “Yips and Howls” not “Yips and Howell’s.” Your version did make me laugh. If I had any connection to a Howell family name I might considering the new spelling, but alas, there are no Howells in my ancestry.

  2. May 2nd, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Stephanie Zvan says:

    Sorry about that, Liz. Barnum slipped that past while the editor was otherwise occupied. Fixed now.

  3. May 2nd, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Greg Laden says:

    Entirely my fault. Thanks for fixing it, Stephanie!

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