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RE: Plants
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Rare orchids have been found growing on a spoil tip next to an old coal mine which could represent "evolution in progress" experts say.
The orchids, known as Young's Helleborine, or Epipactis Youngiana, only grow at 10 locations in the UK.

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Hottest chile pepper
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Researchers at New Mexico State University recently discovered the world's hottest chile pepper. Bhut Jolokia, a variety of chile pepper originating in Assam, India, has earned Guiness World Records' recognition as the world's hottest chile pepper by blasting past the previous champion Red Savina (Capsicum chinense Jacquin).
In replicated tests of Scoville heat units (SHUs), Bhut Jolokia reached one million SHUs, almost double the SHUs of Red Savina, which measured a mere 577,000.
Dr. Paul Bosland, Director of the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University's Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences collected seeds of Bhut Jolokia while visiting India in 2001.
Bosland grew Bhut Jolokia plants under insect-proof cages for three years to produce enough seed to complete the required field tests.

"The name Bhut Jolokia translates as 'ghost chile. I think it's because the chile is so hot, you give up the ghost when you eat it!" - Dr. Paul Bosland.

Bosland added that the intense heat concentration of Bhut Jolokia could have significant impact on the food industry as an economical seasoning in packaged foods.

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RE: Plants
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Deep within the rainforests of tropical North Queensland grows one of the world's most spectacular flowering plants. The red silky oak, or rainforest waratah, grows in only a few kilometres of the Atherton Tableland and attracts nectar-feeding birds that flock to its brilliant scarlet flowers. Meanwhile, 14,500 km away on the slopes below the ancient Inca stronghold of Machu Picchu, in the Peruvian Andes, grows a shrub whose leathery leaves and bright pink flowers are uncannily similar to those of Australia's rainforest waratah. Could there possibly be a connection between these two flowering plants?

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Recent research from Vidi researcher Josef Stuefer at the Radboud University Nijmegen reveals that plants have their own chat systems that they can use to warn each other. Therefore plants are not boring and passive organisms that just stand there waiting to be cut off or eaten up. Many plants form internal communications networks and are able to exchange information efficiently.
Chat network
Many herbal plants such as strawberry, clover, reed and ground elder naturally form networks. Individual plants remain connected with each other for a certain period of time by means of runners. These connections enable the plants to share information with each other via internal channels. They are therefore very similar to computer networks. But what do plants want to chat to each other about?
Recently Stuefer and his colleagues were the first to demonstrate that clover plants warn each other via the network links if enemies are nearby. If one of the plants is attacked by caterpillars, the other members of the network are warned via an internal signal. Once warned, the intact plants strengthen their chemical and mechanical resistance so that they are less attractive for advancing caterpillars. Thanks to this early warning system, the plants can stay one step ahead of their attackers. Experimental research has revealed that this significantly limits the damage to the plants.

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400-million-year-old Garden to Bloom Under Desert Dome
Both a scientific wonder and a message about global warming, a new eco-destination is on the rise in a "parched and burning" desert in Saudi Arabia. On track to become the world's largest indoor garden, the King Abdullah International Gardens will sprout plants from ancient botanical times under domes covering more than 24 acres.
The earliest garden, on the Devonian period, will offer a peek at plants which only grow as high as knee height. A Jurassic Park-style garden will offer a glimpse at the past without the dinosaurs.

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Tree of Life
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Bahrainis must take more pride in their national heritage and take measures to ensure it is not lost, particularly the frequently vandalised Tree of Life, says a local historian.
The country has several unique treasures, but more protection is needed if these sites are to remain unharmed, says independent historian and archaeologist researcher Dr Ali Akbar Bushiri.

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Sorbus pseudomeincichii
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A new species of tree that is not thought to grow anywhere else in the world has been found on an island off the west coast of Scotland.
Two specimens of the newly-named Catacol whitebeam (Sorbus pseudomeincichii) were discovered by researchers on the Isle of Arran.
The tree is cross between the native rowan and whitebeam.

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Begonia Tessaricarpa
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Indian scientists working in a tropical forest in the country's remote northeast have found a rare medicinal plant last seen 115 years ago, a scientific journal reported.

The botanists were working in the Upper Subansiri district of Arunchal Pradesh, an Indian state that borders China, when they found a specimen of "Begonia Tessaricarpa," according to this month's issue of Current Science, an Indian journal. The journal did not say when they found the plant.
The herbaceous plant was once regarded as having medicinal properties by the region's ethnic tribes, and reportedly was used to treat stomach aches and dehydration. It's juices were also reportedly used to ward off leeches.
The plant was first listed in scientific literature by British scientist CB Clarke in 1879 and 1890, but had not been seen since.

"This species is still surviving in a few pockets of Arunachal Pradesh and was found growing in damp rocky places" - Kumar Ambarish, Botanical Survey of India.

It was not immediately possible to independently verify the journal's report.

Press Trust of India news agency

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Plants
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The parasitic dodder plant doesn't have a nose, but it knows how to sniff out its prey.

The dodder (Cuscuta) attacks such plants as tomatoes, carrots, onions, citrus trees, cranberries, alfalfa and even flowers, and is a problem for farmers because chemicals that kill the pesky weed also damage the crops it feeds on.

So discovering how it finds its prey might help lead to a way to block the weed, or for crops to defend themselves, say researchers at Pennsylvania State University.
The question of how dodder finds a host plant has puzzled researchers. Many thought it simply grew in a random direction, with discovery of a plant to attack being a chance encounter.
But the researchers led by Consuelo M. De Moraes found that if they placed tomato plants near a germinating dodder, the parasite headed for the tomato 80 percent of the time.
And when they put scent chemicals from a tomato on rubber, 73 percent of the dodder seedlings headed that way.

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