Ants to the rescue

We often do not credit plants for their smart behaviour. You would be amazed to know some facts about how plants can influence their environment to suit their purpose. We see a lot of co-operation between various species and how they work in tandem to fight an enemy. Plants can call for help and enlist…

Pollination by Mosquitoes

Did you know there are around 3,500 mosquito species? A significant number of these need nothing to do with gnawing people or some other creature. Indeed, even in species that bite, it is just the females that do as they need human blood to build up their eggs. The major food of all grown-up mosquitoes…

Anti-herbivore plant strategies

Plants have been successful in colonizing most environments and when doing so they have to face tough competition not just from other plants but also from animals! So how do plants protect themselves from herbivores? Interactions between plants and insect herbivores are important determinants of plant productivity. In response to the attack, plants have evolved…

Holy Tulasi, the incomparable one

In Hinduism, tulasi is worshipped as a goddess and every part of the tulasi plant is revered and considered sacred, including the leaves, stem, flower, root, seeds, and oil. Even the surrounding soil, which has recently been found to harbor beneficial endophytic fungi, is considered an aspect of the divine. Here we examine, the benefits…

Jamun powered Solar cells

Jamun Power To Solar Battery Did you know the delicious Indian summer fruit, jamun, is not just something just to enjoy eating, but it can be used to make an efficient solar cells? The pigment found in jamun – Syzygium cumini absorbs massive amounts of sunlight. The group of scientists from IIT, who found this…

Potato powered light bulb

Did you know you could power a light bulb with a potato? While it looks like a complicated process, the chemical reactions that take place between two different metals and the juices in the potato create a tiny amount of voltage. Though it is very small, it can power a very small electrical device or…

Mechanism of the venus fly trap

Do you know what exactly happens in the Venus flytrap? Especially when the bug/spider wanders into it?  While most of us led to believe of the plant having a carnivorous brain and tries catching the bugs and flies to survive, you would be surprised to know that winged insects only make up to 5% of its…

Slow & slimy, pollinating army

So you thought only honey bees and birds help in pollination? While the majority of pollination is done by birds, bees and butterflies, we have some unlikely pollinators in the world. Yes we are talking about snails. Unlikely may be a tad offensive to the cute buttons that slide, slowest might be the best way…

You know you love me!

When you see one of the finest examples of plants mimicking insects in the Mirror Bee Orchid, you wonder if there is a master mentoring them. Mirror bee orchids have sufficient resemblance to the female of the ichneumon  wasp Lissopimpla semipunctata to induce copulation by the male wasp. To take their deception further, they are very well-known for…

Can Plants Taste?

Professor Jack C Schultz of the Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri in Columbia describe plants as slow animals. Humans have an intertwined sense of smell and taste. It is similar to plants too.    He says that plants, like animals, fight for their space, look for food, set up traps for prey, and…