Older woman with grey hair looking at camera and smiling
Adriana Hoffmann, Botanist and Environmentalist, Dies at Age 82
Hoffmann traveled through Chile cataloging its rare flora. Later, she fought to defend the country’s forests from commercial deforestation.
ABOVE: Courtesy of Leonora Calderón Hoffmann
Adriana Hoffmann, Botanist and Environmentalist, Dies at Age 82
Adriana Hoffmann, Botanist and Environmentalist, Dies at Age 82

Hoffmann traveled through Chile cataloging its rare flora. Later, she fought to defend the country’s forests from commercial deforestation.

Hoffmann traveled through Chile cataloging its rare flora. Later, she fought to defend the country’s forests from commercial deforestation.

ABOVE: Courtesy of Leonora Calderón Hoffmann

botany

A young arctic fox on green grass
Arctic Greening Won’t Save the Climate—Here’s Why
Donatella Zona | Mar 30, 2022
The growing season on the tundra is starting earlier as the planet warms, but the plants aren’t sequestering more carbon, a new study finds.
Vector drawing of a tropical rainforest with diverse trees
More Than 9,000 Tree Species Await Scientific Description
Christie Wilcox | Feb 1, 2022
A new study of tree biodiversity estimates that Earth boasts 14 percent more tree species than previous efforts have identified.
SLIDESHOW
Photo of a long-tongued fly
Researchers Identify Novel Long-Tongued Fly Species
Nick Dall | Feb 1, 2022
The discovery that what was long believed to be one fly species is actually two deepens researchers’ understanding of plant-pollinator relationships in a unique habitat in southern Africa.
A fresh, peeled lychee fruit held above a harvest of fresh lychees
Genome Spotlight: Lychee (Litchi chinensis)
Christie Wilcox | Jan 27, 2022
Whole genome sequences reveal multiple domestications of this agriculturally important tree and may hold the secrets to producing the sweet fruit year round.
Formed of various flowers, this personification cartoon of a female botanist, painted by George Spratt, was pasted into Allen’s copy of The English Flora.
La Botaniste, 1810–1865
Sukanya Charuchandra | Jan 4, 2022
Elaborate annotations hidden in a copy of Sir James Edward Smith’s The English Flora hinted at the life of a mysterious woman botanist.
Invasive <em>Phragmites australis</em> in North Carolina's Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
Genome Spotlight: Common Reed (Phragmites australis)
Christie Wilcox | Dec 23, 2021
The first reference-quality genome for this grass species could aid managers in understanding and eradicating this highly invasive plant.
Photograph looking up a tree trunk
Contrary to Common Belief, Some Older Trees Make Fewer Seeds
Annie Melchor | Nov 1, 2021
An analysis of more than half a million trees reveals that many species begin to taper off seed production once they hit a certain size.
Arabidopsis thaliana flowers
Plants Use RNA to Talk to Neighbors
Alejandra Manjarrez | Oct 21, 2021
A study finds that plants sharing the same growth medium can exchange microRNAs that silence genes in the recipient, suggesting the nucleic acids may act as signaling molecules.
Yuan Longping wearing a longsleeve white shirt, doing an interview in a rice field.
Hybrid Rice Developer Yuan Longping Dies at 90
Lisa Winter | May 26, 2021
The high-yield variety of rice he produced in the 1970s prevented countless people from dying of starvation.
different varieties of ground and unground coffee beans in bowls and plates on a table
Rediscovered Coffee Species Tastes Great, Tolerates Warmth: Study
Shawna Williams | Apr 20, 2021
Cultivating stenophylla, untapped by the coffee industry for the last century, could help farmers cope with the effects of climate change, researchers suggest.
Astragalus nitidiflorus inaturalist extinct plant conservation taxonomy
Seventeen “Extinct” European Plant Species Found Alive
Katarina Zimmer | Mar 11, 2021
Plant species officially reported to be lost are in fact persevering in the wild, in seed banks or botanical gardens, or as other species now recognized to be taxonomic synonyms.
brian axsmith paleobotanist covid-19 university of south alabama Citronelle Formation Mobile coronavirus pandemic
Paleobotanist Brian Axsmith Dies
Claire Jarvis | Jun 3, 2020
The University of South Alabama professor, who died of complications related to COVID-19, reconstructed the historic range of plants that once grew in the southeastern US.
two pages of the En Tibi herbarium, showing two dried plants
A Smiling Garden, 1558
Ashley Yeager | Mar 1, 2020
An analysis of the En Tibi herbarium’s plants and handwriting has given clues to the identity of its maker.
Image of the Day: Fragmented Habitat
Emily Makowski | Dec 17, 2019
Human activities may be affecting both narrow-ranged plants and widespread ones.
a headshot of Leonard Dyck
Plant Biologist Killed on Solo Camping Trip in British Columbia
Shawna Williams | Aug 8, 2019
Leonard Dyck is remembered for sharing his passion for plants with students at the University of British Columbia.
Image of the Day: Flood Protection
Catherine Offord | Oct 31, 2018
Aphids induce their host plants to produce tiny hairs that help keep the surfaces water-repellent.
Fossilized Beetle Is Earliest Evidence of Insect Pollinator
Abby Olena | Aug 16, 2018
A 99-million-year-old beetle preserved in amber alongside grains of pollen likely pollinated prehistoric plants.
Africa’s Oldest Baobab Trees Are Dying Suddenly
Catherine Offord | Jun 12, 2018
Although more evidence is needed to pin down a cause, researchers suspect that climate change is to blame.
China’s Flowers, 1922-1949
Ashley Yeager | Jun 1, 2018
Austrian-American botanist Joseph Rock collected thousands of plant samples in his 27 years in the Middle Kingdom, leaving after the Communist Party’s takeover.