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Intro to the Mint Plant (and the Top Mint Plant Uses)

Intro to the Mint Plant (and the Top Mint Plant Uses)

Not all of us have a green thumb, but some plants are so ubiquitous that you can’t help but encounter them in everyday life. Mint is one of those plants. It’s probably in your toothpaste, or in a pot nearby as you walk down the street. There are a lot of reasons you...

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History of the Poppy Flower

History of the Poppy Flower

The history of the poppy flower is a rich one. The popular plant is not only famous for its pretty flowers, but also for its use in the production of a highly addictive drug called opium. It also allows us to produce some of the most important medicine in the world,...

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How Do Pineapples Grow?

How Do Pineapples Grow?

The pineapple is a tropical fruit that travels far in our modern age. Whether you live in the fjords of Iceland or the open prairies of Nebraska, chances are there are little pineapple cubes in your fruit cup, frozen bags of it in the freezer section of the grocery...

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What Is Chaga? Intro to the Alaskan Medicinal Mushroom

What Is Chaga? Intro to the Alaskan Medicinal Mushroom

If you haven’t heard of chaga, you aren’t alone. This mushroom, while wildly popular amongst certain groups in the far northern reaches of the planet, has yet to make it into mainstream culture. That being said, it is rapidly gaining celebrity for its wide variety of...

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Guide to Identifying Tree Fungus (and the 3 Most Common Types)

Guide to Identifying Tree Fungus (and the 3 Most Common Types)

What’s growing on that tree? This is a question you may have asked yourself once or twice on a walk around your neighborhood, in the park, or out in the wilderness somewhere. If you’ve ever wondered about an odd-looking growth on a trunk, stump, or branch, you’re not...

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Top 5 Uses For Bamboo Plants

Top 5 Uses For Bamboo Plants

 Belonging to a subfamily of grass, bamboo is one of the most versatile plants on planet earth. Uses for bamboo plants are practiced by over 2.5 billion people every day. This plant is naturally pesticide resistant and helps to rebuild eroded soil. It is antifungal,...

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What Is the Best Rope Plant?

What Is the Best Rope Plant?

Plants have provided humans with some of the most important tool-making materials since the dawn of man. Indeed, wood and other plant products are an absolute necessity when going about our daily lives. We often take for granted just how many tools and materials are...

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How To Get Started Urban Farming

How To Get Started Urban Farming

Urban farming is a growing movement around the world. Grandmothers, children, teachers, and punks alike can be found babying a pepper plant or picking off rosemary leaves for dinner. Plants and food connect us deeply to our homes and our communities. But when it comes...

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Vine Plant Identification 101

Vine Plant Identification 101

Vines make an excellent addition to many gardens, indoor or outdoor. They can also pose threats to native vegetation by becoming extremely invasive and choking out other plants. No matter the type of vine, it’s nice to be able to identify the most common ones. That’s...

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5 Great Anti-Inflammatory Herbs

5 Great Anti-Inflammatory Herbs

Inflammation is important. It is a phenomenon that helps the body repair damaged tissues. It helps the body combat foreign invaders like bacteria and fungi. Without inflammation, we wouldn't last long.  But inflammation can also cause serious problems. Chronic...

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Is a Plant-Based Diet Healthy?

Is a Plant-Based Diet Healthy?

There are many arguments for which kind of diet is healthiest. Many people opt for a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, while others choose to follow an Atkins or a raw food diet. No matter the type of diet one chooses to abide by, one thing is certain: avoid processed...

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Intro to the Most Common Wedding Flowers

Intro to the Most Common Wedding Flowers

There’s a lot that goes into planning a wedding celebration. When it comes to wedding flowers, it can be difficult to know where to start. What’s popular? What’s cliche? What buds will add vibrancy to the occasion and which ones will droop away before the day is over?...

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What Are Digestive Plant Enzymes?

What Are Digestive Plant Enzymes?

What are digestive plant enzymes? To answer this, we have to first ask: what are digestive enzymes to begin with? You may have learned about enzymes in a biology class at some point, but we’ll give you a refresher. Organisms need energy to function. But, where does...

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The Ultimate Guide to Growing Iris Flowers

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Iris Flowers

Irises are gorgeous flowers and a great addition to any outdoor garden. The iris family is enormous, but most people grow just a few of the most common domestic irises. These gorgeous flowers come in a variety of colors - that’s probably why they’re named after the...

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What Is Plant Therapy?

What Is Plant Therapy?

Plant therapy - it might sound like a new fad, but in fact, the practice is ancient. Engaging with plants can have a relaxing, peaceful effect on many people. For individuals struggling with mental illness and depression, plants can help to generate positive emotions...

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What Do Plant Veins and Leaves Actually Do?

What Do Plant Veins and Leaves Actually Do?

When you’re peering at leaves through the lens of your camera, trying to identify a cool new plant in your yard, you might notice some weird lines along the leaves. These lines are called veins, and not just because they look like your veins. Plant veins are actually...

read more
What Are Invasive Plants and Why Are They Bad?

What Are Invasive Plants and Why Are They Bad?

The term “invasive plants” brings to mind a small army of green shoots, marching towards the forest to wreak havoc, a la Fern Gully. If that’s what you think of, you’re not all that far off. Invasive plants are one of the harder aspects of human influence on the world...

read more
Look Out for These 9 Common Garden Pests This Summer

Look Out for These 9 Common Garden Pests This Summer

Just as your garden plants are really starting to bloom, you notice black spots on the leaves. Or maybe you find chewed-up petals or a whitish fuzz along your roots. Garden pests are no joke. They can kill your garden very quickly, undoing all of your hard work....

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What Do Botanists Do?

What Do Botanists Do?

When I say botanist, you might think of a white-bearded man scampering around the woods collecting flowers. Maybe you think of a slightly nutty woman a la Professor Sprout in Harry Potter. Or perhaps you just shrug at me. What is a botanist and what do botanists do?...

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Why Tree Identification Is Easier Than Ever

Why Tree Identification Is Easier Than Ever

Tree identification can be a fun way to learn more about the plants around you. It also can be frustrating and cumbersome thanks to the world’s incredible array of plant species. On top of that, field guides can be a pain to carry around, and aren’t always...

read more
Seed Banks During Drought: How Plants Save During a Recession

Seed Banks During Drought: How Plants Save During a Recession

California wildflowers build seed banks during drought the same way a prudent employee saves money during a recession. According to a study published in Ecology in March of 2018, California’s wildflowers increased seed production over 200% during the 2012-2015...

read more
How a Parasitic Plant Hacks the Genes of its Host

How a Parasitic Plant Hacks the Genes of its Host

Plants are a lot more devious than we once thought. Scientists recently discovered that Dodder, a problematic parasitic plant that causes millions of dollars of damage each year to crops, can basically hack into its host’s genes. You read that right. A parasitic plant...

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How to Find, Use, and Identify Common Sacred Plants

How to Find, Use, and Identify Common Sacred Plants

Almost every culture and religion out there make use of sacred plants. People revere these sacred plants for their medicinal qualities, culinary use, healing power, or cultural purposes. Learning about the history and culture of plants is part of the study of...

read more
How Moss Removes Arsenic from Water

How Moss Removes Arsenic from Water

Scientists in Sweden just discovered a species of moss removes arsenic from water, taking the usefulness of plants up a few notches in my book. While it’s old news that plants turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, arsenic removal from a plant is really uncommon.  ...

read more
The Seven Rules for Foraging for Wild Foods

The Seven Rules for Foraging for Wild Foods

The more you learn about the wild plants around you, the more you realize that foraging for wild foods is possible even in suburban environments. Look around you. The dandelion greens are great for tea while the thistle leaves are a delicious salad topping. Wild...

read more
What Are Invasive Plants and Why Are They Bad?

What Are Invasive Plants and Why Are They Bad?

The term “invasive plants” brings to mind a small army of green shoots, marching towards the forest to wreak havoc, a la Fern Gully. If that’s what you think of, you’re not all that far off. Invasive plants are one of the harder aspects of human influence on the world...

read more
A Guide to Garden Flower Identification

A Guide to Garden Flower Identification

It’s exciting to watch new shoots pop up in springtime and new blooms emerge. But what is growing in your garden?  Maybe you just moved in and have no idea what the last owner planted in your garden. Or perhaps you’re forgetful (like me) and just can’t remember what...

read more
How to Enjoy Botanical Gardens

How to Enjoy Botanical Gardens

Botanical gardens can be a beautiful, quiet activity almost any time of year, but it takes a bit of preparation to fully enjoy botanical gardens.  Botanical gardens are a great place to learn about flower and tree identification, local sacred plants, and rare plants....

read more
Why Tree Identification Is Easier Than Ever

Why Tree Identification Is Easier Than Ever

Tree identification can be a fun way to learn more about the plants around you. It also can be frustrating and cumbersome thanks to the world’s incredible array of plant species. On top of that, field guides can be a pain to carry around, and aren’t always...

read more
How to Find, Use, and Identify Common Sacred Plants

How to Find, Use, and Identify Common Sacred Plants

Almost every culture and religion out there make use of sacred plants. People revere these sacred plants for their medicinal qualities, culinary use, healing power, or cultural purposes. Learning about the history and culture of plants is part of the study of...

read more
How Botany Twitter and a Bumblebee Rediscovered a Rare Plant

How Botany Twitter and a Bumblebee Rediscovered a Rare Plant

In June of last year, botany Twitter made a pretty big discovery. Rather than squabbling about politics or sharing ridiculous memes, botany Twitter actually made a contribution to science. It all started when Professor Chris Martine shared a photo of a bumblebee on...

read more
The 3 Best Hiking Apps to Use in 2018

The 3 Best Hiking Apps to Use in 2018

A few years ago, if you told me that there were apps that made hiking better, I’d have laughed in your face. The point of hiking was to disconnect and escape the constant buzzes, chirps, and little red flags of my busy life. The concept of the “best hiking apps”...

read more
9 Common Edible Plants You Probably Walk Past Every Week

9 Common Edible Plants You Probably Walk Past Every Week

Oh, sure, we all know about apples, blackberries, and dandelions. But what if you want to branch out a bit when foraging? There are all sorts of edible plants common to North America. Chances are, you probably walk past some of these common edible plants every week!...

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A Slightly Obsessive Guide to the Blackberries of the World

A Slightly Obsessive Guide to the Blackberries of the World

During a recent hike in Olympic National Park, I saw some strange berries - like blackberries, but pink. Confused, I pointed them out to my boyfriend and he explained they were salmonberries (scroll to "North American Blackberry Species" to see a photo). I definitely...

read more
The Forager’s Guide to Plant Identification

The Forager’s Guide to Plant Identification

Late summer and early fall is peak harvest. Driving around the countryside, you’ll see countless roadside stands for berries, then apples, then pumpkins. Foraging for wild food allows you to get the joy of eating ultra-local without waiting around for the farms to...

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12 Camping Activities to Try Next Time You’re on a Trip

12 Camping Activities to Try Next Time You’re on a Trip

Camping is a great way to get in touch with nature, bond with family or teammates, and learn about the natural world. If you don’t have camping activities planned in advance, it’s easy for this relaxing time to turn into boredom. Having a go-to-list of camping...

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The Ultimate Guide to Plant Identification with PlantSnap

The Ultimate Guide to Plant Identification with PlantSnap

A plant identification app makes it easier than ever to learn about the natural world. With a plant identifier app like PlantSnap, you can identify plants in your garden, along a hike, or for classroom activities. PlantSnap is the #1 plant identification app using...

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Dog Safe Plants and How to Make a Dog-Friendly Garden

Dog Safe Plants and How to Make a Dog-Friendly Garden

If you love both dogs and gardening, you probably have already asked yourself: are there dog safe plants out there? Given some dog’s propensity to much on leaves and sniff around in the dirt, you might even want to take it a step further: creating a dog-friendly...

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What’s Growing in Your Garden? How to ID Plants by Photo

What’s Growing in Your Garden? How to ID Plants by Photo

In some ways, identifying plants that grow in your garden is harder than identifying plants out in the wild. Knowing what’s growing in your garden will help you care for it better. Whether you need help because you forgot to label your plants or you purchased a home...

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What Do Plant Veins and Leaves Actually Do?

What Do Plant Veins and Leaves Actually Do?

When you’re peering at leaves through the lens of your camera, trying to identify a cool new plant in your yard, you might notice some weird lines along the leaves. These lines are called veins, and not just because they look like your veins. Plant veins are actually...

read more
Seven Benefits of Eating Wild Plants

Seven Benefits of Eating Wild Plants

Eating organic and local produce is a noble goal - but can be financially or logistically difficult in many areas. Eating wild plants can reduce the financial burden of organic foods while giving you many of the same benefits - and more. As we discussed in our article...

read more

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The Seven Rules for Foraging for Wild Foods

The Seven Rules for Foraging for Wild Foods

The more you learn about the wild plants around you, the more you realize that foraging for wild foods is possible even in suburban environments. Look around you. The dandelion greens are great for tea while the thistle leaves are a delicious salad topping. Wild...

read more
What Are Invasive Plants and Why Are They Bad?

What Are Invasive Plants and Why Are They Bad?

The term “invasive plants” brings to mind a small army of green shoots, marching towards the forest to wreak havoc, a la Fern Gully. If that’s what you think of, you’re not all that far off. Invasive plants are one of the harder aspects of human influence on the world...

read more
A Guide to Garden Flower Identification

A Guide to Garden Flower Identification

It’s exciting to watch new shoots pop up in springtime and new blooms emerge. But what is growing in your garden?  Maybe you just moved in and have no idea what the last owner planted in your garden. Or perhaps you’re forgetful (like me) and just can’t remember what...

read more
How to Enjoy Botanical Gardens

How to Enjoy Botanical Gardens

Botanical gardens can be a beautiful, quiet activity almost any time of year, but it takes a bit of preparation to fully enjoy botanical gardens.  Botanical gardens are a great place to learn about flower and tree identification, local sacred plants, and rare plants....

read more
Why Tree Identification Is Easier Than Ever

Why Tree Identification Is Easier Than Ever

Tree identification can be a fun way to learn more about the plants around you. It also can be frustrating and cumbersome thanks to the world’s incredible array of plant species. On top of that, field guides can be a pain to carry around, and aren’t always...

read more
How to Find, Use, and Identify Common Sacred Plants

How to Find, Use, and Identify Common Sacred Plants

Almost every culture and religion out there make use of sacred plants. People revere these sacred plants for their medicinal qualities, culinary use, healing power, or cultural purposes. Learning about the history and culture of plants is part of the study of...

read more
How Botany Twitter and a Bumblebee Rediscovered a Rare Plant

How Botany Twitter and a Bumblebee Rediscovered a Rare Plant

In June of last year, botany Twitter made a pretty big discovery. Rather than squabbling about politics or sharing ridiculous memes, botany Twitter actually made a contribution to science. It all started when Professor Chris Martine shared a photo of a bumblebee on...

read more
The 3 Best Hiking Apps to Use in 2018

The 3 Best Hiking Apps to Use in 2018

A few years ago, if you told me that there were apps that made hiking better, I’d have laughed in your face. The point of hiking was to disconnect and escape the constant buzzes, chirps, and little red flags of my busy life. The concept of the “best hiking apps”...

read more
18 Plants You Can Grow from Table Scraps (With Instructions)

18 Plants You Can Grow from Table Scraps (With Instructions)

Composting leftover food is great and all, but what if you could make more food come from your table scraps? This isn’t the stuff of dreams for starving college students - it’s real. You can grow plants from table scraps. It's nice to know where your food comes from...

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A Guide to James, Jellies, and Preserves: From Apples to Peaches

A Guide to James, Jellies, and Preserves: From Apples to Peaches

It’s that time of year - pumpkin spice lattes are all over everything, leaves are turning colors, and… you’re drowning in extra fruits and berries that you need to find a way to preserve. Or is that just me? While you might want to make jams or jellies year ‘round (I...

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Planning a Last Minute Winter Vegetable Garden

Planning a Last Minute Winter Vegetable Garden

As the summer growing season slows and leaves begin to turn, it’s nice to start thinking about all of the vegetables and greens that you can keep eating fresh all through the winter. Here are some tips to prepare your last minute winter vegetable garden! While the...

read more
A Slightly Obsessive Guide to the Blackberries of the World

A Slightly Obsessive Guide to the Blackberries of the World

During a recent hike in Olympic National Park, I saw some strange berries - like blackberries, but pink. Confused, I pointed them out to my boyfriend and he explained they were salmonberries (scroll to "North American Blackberry Species" to see a photo). I definitely...

read more
Seven Benefits of Eating Wild Plants

Seven Benefits of Eating Wild Plants

Eating organic and local produce is a noble goal - but can be financially or logistically difficult in many areas. Eating wild plants can reduce the financial burden of organic foods while giving you many of the same benefits - and more. As we discussed in our article...

read more
The Seven Rules for Foraging for Wild Foods

The Seven Rules for Foraging for Wild Foods

The more you learn about the wild plants around you, the more you realize that foraging for wild foods is possible even in suburban environments. Look around you. The dandelion greens are great for tea while the thistle leaves are a delicious salad topping. Wild...

read more
Seed Banks During Drought: How Plants Save During a Recession

Seed Banks During Drought: How Plants Save During a Recession

California wildflowers build seed banks during drought the same way a prudent employee saves money during a recession. According to a study published in Ecology in March of 2018, California’s wildflowers increased seed production over 200% during the 2012-2015...

read more
How to Grow a Medicinal Garden

How to Grow a Medicinal Garden

Growing a garden is a fun and rewarding pastime. Cultivating medicinal garden plants takes your backyard dirt patch to a whole new level. Luckily, it’s easy to plan a medicinal garden that’s both lovely and useful. Many common garden plants have medicinal qualities....

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How to Find, Use, and Identify Common Sacred Plants

How to Find, Use, and Identify Common Sacred Plants

Almost every culture and religion out there make use of sacred plants. People revere these sacred plants for their medicinal qualities, culinary use, healing power, or cultural purposes. Learning about the history and culture of plants is part of the study of...

read more
How Moss Removes Arsenic from Water

How Moss Removes Arsenic from Water

Scientists in Sweden just discovered a species of moss removes arsenic from water, taking the usefulness of plants up a few notches in my book. While it’s old news that plants turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, arsenic removal from a plant is really uncommon.  ...

read more

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