Plant Profiles in Chemical Ecology

The Secret Life of Plants

Looking Closer at Your Flower Bouquet: Salal, Immigrant Labor & the International Floral Industry

Plant Classification Family Ericaceae Genus Gaultheria Species Gaultheria shallon Common Name salal Salal (Gaultheria shallon) is a dominant understory shrub native to coastal regions of California, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest.  It’s easy to recognize because of its shiny, sturdy,… Continue Reading →

A Big, Stinky Giant

Let’s talk about giants; giants who smell really, really bad.

I May Be a Delicate Flower, But I Can Still F**k You Up

Family Plantaginaceae Genus Digitalis Species purpurea Common Name Foxglove During the height of summer in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll find roadsides, hiking trails, etc. decorated with towering purple to pink to white spikes. Growing up, I called these bee-loving plants… Continue Reading →

Mangrove Medicine: Can Natural Products Protect Keystone Species?

Novel drugs derived from mangroves may fight more than just disease. International cooperation may soon create a new era of intertidal management, benefiting both the environment and working people.

Hopping into your own craft beer: the chemistry of picking good hops

Hopping into your own craft beer: the chemistry of picking good hops Barley and hops       Fermented brews have been a part of human culture since before recorded history, but it wasn’t until the end of the dark… Continue Reading →

Threatened Ephedra Species Enhances Biocultural Diversity In the Mojave

 I often encountered Ephedra fasciculata which is listed as vulnerable in the IUCN threatened species list in the deserts of the Southwest, and heard stories passed down by my grandparents about how people used it traditionally for medicine and as… Continue Reading →

The Suicide Tree

  A 51-year-old woman, with a history of drug overdose, suicide attempts and depression was admitted to the ER complaining of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and chest tightness. She had a heart rate of 30 beats per minute, well below the… Continue Reading →

Why does DMT exist?

Produced in the human brain, a bridge to the after life: Why is this powerful psychedelic also found in many plants?

Why Tree Shrews Lick the Inside of Their Toilet

Pitcher plants secrete a fruity nectar to share with rats, shrews, bats, and any other brave enough to collect the reward. Although these plants are picky with who they share with; they produce anti-fungal and antibacterial compounds in their digestive fluid so they don’t have to share nutrients with microbes.

Silk roads to pop culture

Purple Drink may be new on the scene, but it’s always had a presence within every generation of society back to the beginning. Purple Drink has gone by many alias and has had many a makeover through the centuries. Along the silk road this presence has traveled far and wide extending its tendrils deep into human culture. many have fallen in love with this cunning mistress to be left broke and alone. Those lucky enough to escape the icy grasp continually long for the nirvana they lost. Those not fortunate enough to escape may certainly follow their love into the dark.

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