The best of the best in plant biology, conservation, photography, and evolution

I have about ten favorite species of tree, and one of them is the corotú. Why? Because of one of the most interesting plant-animal interaction stories of recent times. The story, complete with extinct elephant-like creatures and a real Sherlock Holmes science theme can be read, along with some great images, at A Neotropical Savanna: The Corotú and the Gomphothere.

Did you ever wonder how all those old, large, beautiful trees get there? Along city streets, in an arboretum, someone's yard, or a public park? Well, one example of how this happens will be the Australian National Arboretum in Canberra. Eventually. They are planting the trees now. "Make sure you pencil in a visit to the National Arboretum for your 2050 diary. It's going to be amazing."... The World of Ecology Blog has the details: A tree garden in the making.

Did you ever wonder what those bumps and nodules growing on the leaves are? Some trees or bushes have them here and there, others seem to have them on every leaf. Those trees have gall: Well, gall-eeee!! (brought to you by The Little House in the Not-So-Big Woods blog.

My parents retired to Las Vegas several years ago, and my sister who lives out west has a place there as well. So I've spent a fair amount of time in the vicinity and a good part of that in the Mohave Desert or other wild habitats within driving distance (There are some good mountains, and Death Vally isn't really that far away). Anyway, The Watcher of Salt Lake City and the Watching the World Wake Up blog apparently had a similar idea, and here chronicles a number of aspects of a trip to Vegas, as it were: Vegas Boondoggle Part 1: Daggers & Moths This post is loaded with videos and some great pictures of some interesting plants, focusing on Spanish Dagger (Yucca schidegera).

The Watcher also has an interesting post on Peas, Palms Pines and Dorks in Mexico, and a trip to an acid swamp. Also, this item: City Creek Part 3: Rocks, Global Warming, and Pooping in Wells

How, when, and in what form did terrestrial plants evolve? In other words (dare I say it?) What are the "links" from sqishy water algae plant-things to the first land plants, to the first land vascular plants, and eventually to the first plants with plant naughty bits (seeds and pollen)? Sequence of Terrestrial Plant Evolution.

Woodwardia fimbriata is the Giant Chain Fern, and it truly is giant. "Apparently its fronds have been known to reach 8 feet in length (!). This species is native to the west coast and up into Canada..." and you can read all about it and see some amazing photographs of it at the No seeds, no fruits, no flowers: no problem blog, which focuses on ferns: Woodwardia fimbriata

Beetle's in the Bush's Friday Flower is the Red Buckeye:

Red buckeye is native to the southeastern U.S., just reaching Missouri in the southeastern Ozarks (though cultivated further north). This makes it less well-known than the more widely distributed Ohio buckeye...

Read about the Red Buckey here!

Grrrl Scientist has a great shot of Purppura Päivänkakkaraa here, and along with it an interesting linguistic side story. Grrl also has this post with a stunning closeup of a pink ranunculus.

What is the actual range of Claytonia caroliniana? JSK of Anybody seen my focus? blog has evidence to suggest it is a little farther south than previously suspected. Have a look at Carolina Springbeauty (Claytonia caroliniana)? for detailed descriptions and links to background resources. Let's see if the blogosphere can come up to the plate and answer this question.

I grew up in Albany, NY, which was famous for it's Tulip Festival and the diversity of trees in its main park (Washington Park). The mayor in those days liked trees, so there were trees. And naturally, given the whole tulip thing, many of those trees were "tulip trees." On which, by the way, tulips do not grow. Anywqay, A Digital Botanic Gardin blog has a post with amazing photos: Tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera

Check this out:

At night, when the ram was roasted, a major carousing began. One of the men in the caravan, who usually kept somewhat apart from the rest of the members, became especially violent. He decided to untie the hobbles of the mules and allow them to run free. Attempts to persuade him to stop were to no avail. A scuffle began, which continued into the night. The uproar threatened to disrupt the entire caravan.

What happened next? Well, they settled down for some coffee, according to vaviblog: Give 'em wild coffee, that'll sober 'em up

The one phrase parents live in dread of hearing from their child, but eventually always do, is: "Daddy, where do mangoes come from?" For help in answering this question, visit Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog blog and read The birthplace of the Dashehari mango. I was surprised. What is even more surprising, from the same blog, is this: The Three-hundred-variety mango of Malihabad.

Foothills Fancies blog has some great photographs of spring: The Green Scene, and a Spring Surprise.

My own contribution to this month's summary of plant blogging is a set of photos of various plants and plant parts mainly from southern and East Africa (with a few animals thrown in) accumulated under the archive category "Random Photograph".


As you may have guessed, you have just finished reading the 28th edition of the Berry Go Round

web carnival. If you have an interest in nature blogging, science blogging, plants, or anything related, please support blogging in these areas by actually clicking through to the posts linked to above. All of them if you can. If not, please at least visit a selection of them.

In fact, you can think of this as a sort of r-strategy vs. K-strategy decision. Click on each link and glance at each page (r-srategy). Or, click on a hand full of them, read the posts carefully and leave a thoughtful comment there. Or a mixed strategy: Click through to half of them and leave a short comment like "great post" or "sucky post" or whatever.

The reason I'm asking you to pay special attention to the carnival is that we (the people who usually write this carnival and/or contribute to it) have been discussing the value of this sort of enterprise.

In my opinion, carnivals are useful but underused. Teachers should be telling their students about appropriate carnivals when asked general questions about some topic or another. If you read blogs and have a friend or relative of like interests who does not, sending a link for a recent carnival to that person is a great way to introduce her or him to the part of the blogsphere of interest.

And, if you are engaged in social networking in any way (Facebook, Twitter, Whatever) please send this carnival out on that network, and at least a selection of the blogs linked herein.

And, of course, if you are listed in this carnival, please put up a blog post pointing your readers to it, and share the carnival on Facebook Twitter, iWhatever.

The home page of the Berry Go Round web carnival is here.

The most recent edition prior to this one was at A Neotropical Savanna.

The next edition (late June, 2010) of the carnival will be held at Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog.

You may now submit your favorite plant post to a Berry Go Round carnival by sending the post’s URL directly to Or, you may add a link to the diigo Berry Go Round group. Of course, you may also continue using the automatic Blog Carnival submission form.

Your submissions are welcome, no matter how you get it to us. If you would like to host a BGR carnival, let us know at the BGR email address:

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