Plants provide the air we breathe, the food we eat and the clothes we wear-- along with enhancing our lives with beauty. It's why more than 200 organizations around the world will be joining together in support of international "Fascination of Plants Day."
Learn more about who's involved and be sure to save the date: Friday, May 18, 2012.
The first-of-its-kind-day is being planned by the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO) in Brussels. Several cooperating societies of the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Soil Science of America are proud to adopt the day, including the Global Plant Council, European Association for Plant Breeding Research and American Society of Plant Biologists.
Leaders of EPSO call it an important opportunity to plant a virtual and constantly germinating seed in the collective mind of the public; from children to adults, farmers to gardners, and instructors to researchers.
Plants are Life: Now
The facts are rooted deep. There are more than 250,000 species of plants and according to recent research by American Society of Agronomy and Crop Soil Science Society of America Member Christine Prescott-Allen, 82 species commodities (example: cabbage) and 28 general commodities (example: hydrogenated oils) contribute 90% of national per capita supplies of food plants. Simply put-- plants feed the world and scientists will play a big role in the 21st century challenges of breeding, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, ecology and other sectors related to how plants contribute to life.
(Photo of transverse section of a fern root tip, courtesy of Olivier Leroux, National University of Ireland, Galway)
Plants are Life: Future
Plants grow in every region of the world. But most flowers can't thrive without pollination. Insects, mainly bees, take pollen from the anther and transfer it to the stigma to make seeds. It's basic botany, but not something all students are learning today. One example, a survey of the Public Schools in New Mexico, shows most middle and high school science teachers spend less than 10% of their time on the study of green plants. A number of instructors indicated the course had been completely removed from the curriculum. Many also stated a need for specific training, including information to identify and study local plants. It's a concern at a time when answers related to climate change, conservation, invasive species, food production, distribution and safety-- can be found, in part, in plants. Just like the bee and the flower, we need to work together with plants to better understand the importance of our relationship.
(Photo of plant pollination, courtesy of Zoc Popper, National University of Ireland, Galway)
Read more about the "Fascination of Plants Day," here: http://www.plantday12.eu/home.htm
Read more about plants and the environment, here: https://www.crops.org/files/science-policy/ag-adaptation-one-pager.pdf
Read more about plants in general, here: http://plants.usda.gov/java/