Botanical Evolution

Ever since taking an undergrad course in aquatic botany led by a truly interesting prof, and read of Mendel’s experiments, I’ve thought botanical evolution was fascinating. How on earth, for example, does aquatic weed (like Potamogeton spp) know to make a certain kind of plant below, and switch to something so different, above the water?

I’m sure that there are lots here who have studied more in this area than I have. It seems a fertile place for investigation. Can anyone teach me (us) some interesting evolution facts about plants from their studies or serendipitous forays?

Here’s one paper that only whetted my appetite–about gravitropism. Thanks. .

Examples of Potamogeton and other aquatic plants of Michigan:


Interesting that carnivory evolved many times in unrelated plants across the world:

I’ll be following this with interest if anyone knowledgeable chimes in. Plants interest me a good deal, though honestly more for their aesthetic qualities, novelty and garden vibe than anything to do with science.

But it seems to me that plants are much more promiscuous in terms of crossbreeding success, even though the offspring will be sterile. I wonder if anyone knows if that is true or not.

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Two of my best-known blog posts were about evolution in plants. My favorite post ever was about the roots of corn in teosinte, but I also wrote a cool piece about leaves in Darwin’s tomatoes in the Galapagos. Neither is about peculiarly plant-ish evolutionary mechanisms, but I’m not sure there is any such thing.

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Really looking forward to this one. One of my favorites is the morphology of the passiflora genus and it’s mimicry of its host insects.

The morphology of leaves into pitcher plants is awesome as well.

Gets really cool when it’s plants and fungi evolved together. Or how the spearmint taste of spread mint may be microscopic fungi within the leaf tissue.

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Wow, what a great blog. Thanks. Fascinating about teosinte…and regulating coding.

Can you elaborate? Thanks.

I did not know till lately that Darwin wrote a book on carnivorous plants.

He was amazing.

Did not know that. Honestly, as @DavidMacMillan wrote in his blog, evolution makes the earth so much more fascinating.

I’m at work but this abstract touches on one of the examples.

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