Featured in the newest Dialogue Magazine »

Articles » Botany

 

Imagine That

Imagine That

Introductory

Have you ever discovered that something you thought quite ordinary (or even ugly), was actually a priceless antique? I remember harbouring such sentiments when I was a teenager. Since then, of course, I have learned better how to identify valuable items. Read the rest of this entry »


Subtle Traps in the Borneo Jungle

Subtle Traps in the Borneo Jungle

ChildrenIntroductory

Whatever you may think about cats, there is no denying that they are beautifully designed. No, I do not mean their attractive appearances and charming personalities. I mean their design features which allow them to catch mice. The cat, of course, is an expert in the strategy of the hunt. She lies in wait, preferably in a spot where she is not too conspicuous. Then she stalks her prey, slinking along ever so quietly. Finally she winds up for a mighty spring through the air with a precise landing spot… right where the unsuspecting victim hesitates. Then voila! Here she comes to show the victim to you. Naturally you are very impressed with this cat’s achievement. If her strategy were not perfect, there would be no victim since mice are notoriously cautious. Read the rest of this entry »


Smart Weeds

Smart Weeds

ChildrenIntroductory

When I think about gardens, a happy little ditty comes into my mind.

    You can learn a lot of things from the flowers
    Especially in the month of June
    You can learn a lot of things from the flowers
    All on a golden afternoon. Read the rest of this entry »

Clever Plans in Plants

Clever Plans in Plants

IntermediateIntroductory

Have you ever read The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl? It is such a fun story! Even grown ups laugh about this nasty scheming reptile who keeps devising new and ingenious ways to catch children for his supper. He describes his schemes as “secret plans and clever tricks.” Various jungle animals however foil each sneaky plan and the nasty croc eventually gets launched by an elephant into outer space. Read the rest of this entry »


Only a ? in a Guilded Cage

Only a ? in a Guilded Cage

IntermediateIntroductory

Have you ever seen a plant growing inside a cage? We saw such a sight at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia. It makes you stop and think doesn’t it? Is the cage there to protect the tree or to protect the people? Is this some sort of carnivorous threat or what? The little evergreen tree inside the cage is actually a very non-threatening 50 cm tall. The cage is there to prevent anyone from running off with the rarest known tree species on earth. The existence of this highly unusual tree, known as the Wollemi Pine, was just discovered in late 1994. Scientists are still dancing with delight. Read the rest of this entry »


Cleaning up in ponds

Cleaning up in ponds

ChildrenIntroductory

Some things in nature are so unexpected that our reaction can only be one of wonder or amazement. Did you know that some plants, innocent in appearance, but vicious in character, lurk in ponds throughout the world? These plants attract, catch and eat aquatic insects, water fleas and young tadpoles, fish fry, tiny worms and very young insect larvae including mosquito wrigglers. Read the rest of this entry »