Plants

Americans buy more than 30 million poinsettias every year.
TANAKA Juuyoh | Flickr Creative Commons

Poinsettias are sold by the millions every year, almost all of them between Thanksgiving and Christmas. As popular as these holiday flowers are, there still may be a few things about them that could surprise you. Here are five fun facts about poinsettias we wanted to share.

Peter Wyse Jackson
Provided by the Missouri Botanical Garden | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In many parts of the world, a web of gardens work to connect the past with the present, and the present with the future.

They grow in India and Israel, in Cambodia, Peru and the Bronx, in Costa Rica, Madagascar, Colombia and Sri Lanka, in South Dakota, in St. Louis, and now, for the first time, into Europe through France.

That fake fruit in the wooden bowls that hotels love to decorate their lobbies with never looks quite right. No, apparently it takes nature to make a fake that looks even better than the real thing.

(Missouri Botanical Garden)

The Missouri Botanical Garden has announced plans to help build an online database of the world’s plants.

Working with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and the New York Botanical Garden, the Missouri Botanical Garden will compile information on as many as 400,000 land plant species, with the goal of having all the data available online by 2020.

(via Flickr/jasonippolito)

Monsanto today announced progress on nine of its research projects on genetically-engineered crops.

Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Monsanto's vice president of biotechnology, Steve Padgette, said several collaborations with the Germany-based BASF Plant Science will be moving forward in 2011.

The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London have completed the first comprehensive list of world plant species.