Trippy and gorgeous night sky petunias look like tiny universes

Does your garden of earthly delights have room for some out-of-this-world petunias? Night Sky petunias are a cultivar by Selecta, developed in part at Mississippi State University's trial gardens. Read the rest

How it's made: hard crystal candies with cherry-flavored roses inside

From Tallahassee, Florida's Lofty Pursuits who offer these "handmade artisinal candies" at $6 for a 2.75oz bag:

A new technique for a new effect in our image candies. These Crystal Roses are formed from nothing but hot sugar, and flavors. This is the first in a series of candies using this kind of design.

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This remarkable timelapse of flowers took 3 years to film

Whenever it seems that timelapse has become a bit overused, someone like Jamie Scott refreshes the format with something like Spring, a dizzying film of flowers in bloom. Read the rest

Robotic drone bee pollinates flowers

Japanese researchers demonstrated how a tiny remote-controlled drone could help bees pollinate flowers in areas where bees populations have been reduced due to pesticides, climate change, and other factors. Eijiro Myako and his colleagues at the Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology hope that eventually robotic bees could handle their share of the work autonomously. From New Scientist:

The manually controlled drone is 4 centimetres wide and weighs 15 grams. The bottom is covered in horsehair coated in a special sticky gel. When the drone flies onto a flower, pollen grains stick lightly to the gel, then rub off on the next flower visited.

In experiments, the drone was able to cross-pollinate Japanese lilies (Lilium japonicum). Moreover, the soft, flexible animal hairs did not damage the stamens or pistils when the drone landed on the flowers...

“We hope this will help to counter the problem of bee declines,” says Miyako. “But importantly, bees and drones should be used together.”

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Forget filters, this artist adds real flower crowns to statues

Flower-bombing is the new yarn-bombing if Geoffroy Mottart has his way. He creates flower crowns and beards for statues around Brussels, then posts his handiwork online. Read the rest

Watch a rare "Corpse Flower" bloom while far away from the smell of death

Amorphophallus titanum is known as the "Corpse Flower" because it smells like rotten flesh. The infamous stink attracts flies and beetles that helps it get pollinated. Native to Sumatra, the plant rarely flowers and can take as long as a decade to bloom if it does. The New York Botanical Garden has cultivated a fine Corpse Flower and you can livestream it blooming any time now. Watch the video stream above but don't blink or you may miss it. If only Smell-O-Vision had caught on...

From the NYBG:

Each day of careful tending and feeding has led up to this moment: a brief yet glorious window in which the enormous plant (up to eight feet high) will unfurl, displaying the striking red interior and uncanny scent to which it owes its name. This is the first time that a blooming titan-arum has been put on display at the Garden since 1939, and this unique plant is unpredictable—it may be in flower for only one or two days.

The Corpse Flower (NYBG)

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5-legged-dog floral arrangement upsets family

Peggy Hartman died on January 20, 2016. She was 91 years old. Hartman's friend Magaret Seaman ordered a floral arrangement in the shape of a Jack Russell terrier to be delivered to Hartman's memorial service (Hartman loved dogs). But when the floral arrangement was unveiled in the church, the dog looked more like a generously snouted tapir with five legs. Seaman said she was embarrassed and asked the florist a refund, but was refused.

From Echo News:

The florist, from Harlequin Flowers, in Ness Road, defended her work though, saying she had photographic evidence of how the dog looked when it was being delivered to funeral directors S. Stibbards and Sons, also in Ness Road. She said: “It has been tampered with."

The mystery deepens!

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This might be the world's earliest flowering life

David Dilcher of Indiana University writes that this 130 million year-old fossil may represent the first life on earth to flower and pollinate underwater.

Based on the many fossil examples we examined, Montsechia floated in freshwater lakes and was submerged in the water. It had a spreading growth, branching freely. This flowering plant didn’t display any of the showy blossoms we tend to associate with flowers. But because it contains seeds enclosed in a fruit, the basic characteristic of angiosperms, it is classified as a flowering plant.

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Deformed mutant daisies photographed near Fukushima nuclear disaster site in Japan

Just when you'd forgotten about all that leaked radiation.

Watch these plants explode

Violets, touch me nots, and squirting cucumbers employ an impressive ballistic seed dispersal mechanism. (Smithsonian)

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World's Strangest Flowers

Sierra magazine selected "7 of the World's Strangest Flowers." Here is a video of the Touch-Me-Not.