October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign that aims to highlight research into breast cancer. Last month, my wonderful Mum was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. While she's undergoing treatment, I decided I would distract myself by doing what I do best - researching plants.
If it looks like a plant and it acts like a plant, it could be an animal, algae or fungus. Organisms are beautifully diverse, but sometimes the lines between them can be blurry and it's not until you look at their micro-structures that you realise they're not the same at all.
On 30th March 2020, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley blasted off into space as the first astronauts to be launched by a private company, SpaceX. In honour of this historic moment, we're going to discuss the possibilities of growing and harvesting plants in space and on Mars.
We gain a lot of information about a thing by knowing its name. So what if its name is misleading? While this doesn't change the wonder or beauty of these species, it does hide some of the interesting history behind them.
Having a sensory herb garden is both grounding and comforting. This little garden has meant having my own little patch of cultivated space, even when I lived in rented accommodation.
Bioluminescent plants, giant Hometrees and plant communication might seem like science fiction, but you might not have to travel from one star system to another to experience the joys of Pandora.
Recently on the blog, we looked at English bluebells, so this week it seemed only fitting to move on to American bluebells. With an incredibly long history in a variety of cultures, Columbine is a treasured flower in the wild and in gardens. Its shape teaches an important lesson about evolution, and its symbolism has conflicting naughty and nice origins.
In 2017, I was invited back to my secondary school as a guest speaker for an annual diversity and inclusivity event. This speech was a milestone in my career as a plant scientist and I am excited to share it with you.
Meet Melanie Baughman, a master's student from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA, studying the floral formation of bananas and educating people on the beauty they can find around them.
English bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) are enchanting flowers, they grow in ancient woodlands all over the UK and are often associated with magic and fairies. This flower is very close to my heart and an iconic symbol of the English countryside that's steeped in folklore and ancient mythology.