Terra preta Terra preta (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈtɛʁɐ ˈpɾetɐ], locally [ˈtɛhɐ ˈpɾetɐ], literally "black earth" or "black land" in Portuguese) is a type of very dark, fertile manmade (anthropogenic) soil found in the Amazon Basin. Terra preta owes its name to its very high charcoal content, and was made by adding a mixture of charcoal, bone, and manure to the otherwise relatively infertile Amazonian soil. The charcoal is very stable and remains in the soil for thousands of years. It is also known as "Amazonian dark earth" or "Indian black earth". In Portuguese its full name is terra preta do índio or terra preta de índio ("black earth of the Indian", "Indians' black earth"). Terra mulata ("mulatto earth") is lighter or brownish in colour. Terra preta soils are of pre-Columbian nature and were created by humans between 450 BCE and 950 CE. The soil's depth can reach 2 meters (6.6 ft). History Early theories Anthropogenic roots Pre-Columbian Amazonia Biochar
The Most Beautiful Corn in the World IMAGE: Glass gem corn, via the Seeds Trust Facebook page. This photograph of an ear of glass gem corn has been making the rounds on the internet over the past week (often accompanied with a note declaring it is NOT PHOTOSHOPPED!). What happened is that, last year, seedsman Greg Schoen was moving and left some of his corn varieties, most of which originally came from part-Cherokee “corn-teacher” Carl Barnes, with his fellow seed-saving enthusiast and Seeds Trust founder Bill McDorman. Bill grew some, and “got so excited, [he] posted a picture on Facebook.” The result, writes Bill, is that “GLASS GEM corn has gone viral!” As it happens, before human selection interfered, corn ears were all multi-coloured.* Kernels are siblings housed on the same ear, meaning that each kernel has its own set of genes, including those that control colour. Livestock feeders prefer vitamin-rich yellow kernels, Southerners like white kernels, and Native Americans favor blue.
Summer Flowering Trees, Shrubs and Vines - Wisconsin Horticulture Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora'(PeeGee hydrangea) in summer bloom. Laura Jull, UW-Madison Horticulture Revised: 8/13/2012 Item number: XHT1016 May Showers Bring Summer Flowers: Most gardeners think that spring is the time of year when woody plants flower. For more information on woody plants:See UW-Extension bulletins A2865, A3067, G1609, A1771, and University of Wisconsin Garden Facts X1012, X1014, X1015, or contact your County Extension Agent.
9 Houseplants That Clean The Air And Are Basically Impossible To Kill Pop quiz: which is more polluted, indoor air or outdoor air? 10 times out of 10, indoor air in your house, office or apartment is going to be worse than the air outside. Indoor air pollution has been ranked among the top 5 greatest risks to public health by the EPA, and stagnant indoor air allows pollutants to build up and stick to the things inside of your home. The things in our homes emit some nasty toxic chemicals like formaldehyde for example. You can also be impacted by pollutants like pollen, bacteria, mold, and various outdoor contaminants that find their way inside. 1. This plant was found by NASA to be a real air-purifying beast. 2. Spider plants are incredibly easy to grow, so if you’re a beginner, this is a great one to start with. 3. There are over 40 kinds of dracaena plants, which makes it easy to find the right one for you. 4. Ficus trees are a favorite of mine as they are able to grow quite large depending on the type of pot you have them in. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Plant blooms after 30,000 years in permafrost - life - 20 February 2012 A plant that last flowered when woolly mammoths roamed the plains is back in bloom. Biologists have resurrected a 30,000-year-old plant, cultivating it from fruit tissue recovered from frozen sediment in Siberia. The plant is by far the oldest to be brought back from the dead: the previous record holder was a sacred lotus, dating back about 1200 years. The late David Gilichinsky from the Soil Cryology Laboratory in Moscow, Russia, and colleagues recovered the fruits of the ice age flowering plant (Silene stenophylla) from a fossilised squirrel burrow in frozen sediments near the Kolyma river in north-east Siberia. By applying growth hormones to the fruit tissue, Gilichinsky and his colleagues managed to kick-start cell division and ultimately produce a viable flowering plant. Modern day S. stenophylla looks similar to the resurrected plant, but has larger seeds and fewer buds. Similar fossilised burrows have been identified in Alaska and Canada. More From New Scientist More from the web
Pl@ntNet: The "Shazam" of Plants Making Life Easier for Landscape Designers Pl@ntNet: The "Shazam" of Plants Making Life Easier for Landscape Designers You've probably used or heard of the app Shazam, used by millions of people to identify songs and song lyrics. A team of researchers from Cirad, IRA, Inria / IRD and Tela Botanica Network - had the idea of developing a similar application, but instead of identifying songs, the application identifies plant species. Pl@ntNet is a new tool that helps identify plants using pictures. Currently, the app has more than 4,100 species of flora located in France alone. Pl@ntNet is available for iPhone and Android devices. Learn more about the app here.
Do Plants Think? How aware are plants? This is the central question behind a fascinating new book, “What a Plant Knows,” by Daniel Chamovitz, director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences at Tel Aviv University. A plant, he argues, can see, smell and feel. It can mount a defense when under siege, and warn its neighbors of trouble on the way. A plant can even be said to have a memory. 1. It had been known for decades that plants use light not only for photosynthesis, but also as a signal that changes the way plants grow. This led to the obvious question as to what these seemingly “plant-specific” genes do in people. But most amazingly, these genes also regulate responses to light in animals! This led me to realize that the genetic difference between plants and animals is not as significant as I had once naively believed. 2. 3. Another example of a plant using smell is how a parasitic plant called dodder finds its food. 3B. But plants are rooted, sessile organisms. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Via RoxyRiley: Manchineel- Earth's most dangerous tree? The manchineel tree may be endangered, but so is anyone who messes with it. That's because this rare tropical plant, which offers deceptively sweet fruit, is one of the most poisonous trees on Earth. Manchineels are notorious in their native habitats, the sandy soils and mangroves of South Florida, the Caribbean, Central America and northern South America. Manchineel trees are often marked with signs, like this one in the Cayman Islands. The fruits are the most obvious threat, earning manchineel the name manzanita de la muerte, or "little apple of death," from Spanish conquistadors. "I rashly took a bite from this fruit and found it pleasantly sweet," radiologist Nicola Strickland wrote in a 2000 British Medical Journal article about eating manchineel with a friend. Poison apples are just the beginning, though. A yellow manchineel fruit grows on Bastimentos Island in northwest Panama. Manchineel also has peaceful uses. A green "beach apple" braves the surf on Mayreau in the Grenadines.