It Seems Trees Actually Can “Talk”

“Hub trees”—a name for the oldest and tallest trees with the vastest root systems—have better access to sunlight than other trees and this leads them to create excess sugar. That sugar is distributed through their roots, underground, to fungi. These fungi, that need sugar to survive, spread their threads (known as Mycelium) through the root system of trees to absorb excess sugar. In return, the …

Common Weeds Yield Unexpected Meals and Bouquets

“This is the era of the formerly unwanted plant,” Ligaya Mishan writes. The common weed holds no nutritional or aesthetic value in traditional settings, but adventurous chefs and florists are finding a place for weeds alongside traditionally more grand flowers and ingredients. The switch is being attributed to a broader cultural moment—that our perception of beauty is changing. Weeds are an intrusive species that finds …

Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Tons of hidden diamonds, Jupiter's new moons, America's last Blockbuster and more

1. Some Recently Discovered Moons of Jupiter are Weirder Than Others Scott Sheppard’s astronomy division at the Carnegie Institution for Science hunts for objects in very distant parts of our Solar System. Sometimes, however, they’re able to scour areas closer—depending on the orbit of planets intersecting with their work. When the latter scenario arose with Jupiter, Sheppard and his colleagues discovered 10 new moons—bringing the …

Succulent-Saving Six-Legged Robots

Adapted from the robot HEXA, developed by Beijing-based technology company Vincross, this moving flower pot prototype not only holds small succulent plants, it changes locations to address whether a plant has too little or too much sunlight. In addition to scuttling, it dances if the plant needs water and swipes at people passing by. Vincross CEO Tianqi Sun explains that the robot was developed in …

Citrus Archaeologist Paolo Galeotti Rediscovers Ancient Plants

Today, the garden of Florence’s Villa di Castello hosts the largest collection of potted citrus plants in the world—near 600 species and varieties, one of which was long thought extinct for more than a century and a half. Citrus Expert Paolo Galeotti saw a sprig of something he thought to be that variety—the three-fruit producing citrus bizzarria. He grafted it onto a plant and brought …