BOTANY OF DESIRE

WARNING: they talk like plants ACTIVELY adapted to human needs.  This is entirely a false idea.  This is NOT how evolution occurs.

Flowers that evolved to have "food" like honey drew insects like bees that would spread their pollen to other flowers of the same species (bees go from flower to flower of the same species) Attracting insects increased the genetic variation and was an enormous selective advantage over random pollination by wind. 

APPLES

Seeds wrapped in a nutritious package. 
Apples evolved in central Asia, Kazakhstan.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Asia
The evolution of nutrition wrapped seeds meant the package would be eaten and transported a distance away from the parent tree.  This meant less competition for the parent tree.  The seeds would be spread to unshaded areas. 

These packaged seeds requires a lot of energy expenditure from the parent tree and competition from another tree that is too close is not advantageous. 

Humans are fussier than other animals and have selected for sweet and then super sweet apples. 

How are named varieties of apples reproduced?  Seeds or grafts? 

Who was John Chapman? What did he do? 

Of what use are most sour apples?  Why was this drink better than water?

Is there a scientific basis for the saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"?

Why do apples need so much pesticide spraying? 

Why is monoculture a bad idea?

What can you do to ensure that the genetic variability of apples is conserved/preserved? 
 

TULIPS

What is an "angiosperm"?  Why was it so enormously successful in evolution? 

Where did tulips originate from? 

What country is known for breeding and selling tulips?

What was the original economic "bubble" that collapsed nearly ruining which country? 

What caused the "break" or stripes or flame of color in those original tulips? 
 

What countries are found in central Asia? 

"The Dutch" refers to people from what country? Holland is part of which country?

How are named tulips propagated for sale?  Google for this

CANNABIS 

What mechanism of the human brain did research on the effect of cannabis unlock? 

What purpose do you think the active ingredient in cannabis served in "the wild"? Hint: Is the psychoactive component active when the plant is eaten? 

What has cannabis been used for in the past? 

Where did cannabis originally come from? 

Why did cannabis fall out of such favor and end up being banned? When was it banned?

What caused the growing of cannabis from outdoor fields to indoors?

What kinds of selection occurred when it moved indoors?

Which part of the plant contains most of the resin? 

What was done to increase the amount of resin?

What is the purpose of the resin in the plant?

What is in the resin?  (He was wrong that there is only 1 psychoactive molecule, actually there are many.)  What part of the brain is activated?  Cerebellum, hippocampus and frontal cortex. 

What is the effect on appetite, pain and memory?

Why does our body make a chemical that lets us forget? 

Why do you think soldiers use cannabis? 

What is hemp? 

PLANTS DON'T "WORK" ON THEIR TOOLS!!!!

POTATOES

Where do potatoes come from? 

What kind of nutrients dominate in potatoes?

How did potatoes allow populations to expand? Where? 

Do Peruvians practice monoculture?  Do potatoes grow in different niches?

Are all parts of the plant edible?  Is a green potato edible?

What kind of liquor is made from potatoes?

What was so challenging about Ireland and why did potatoes do so well?

What varieties of potatoes were grown in Ireland?

What happened? How long did it take?

What varieties of potatoes dominate in the USA?  What is driving this selection?

What is the consequence of this? 

What "new" pesticide was been developed?  For what pest? How was it developed?  Where did you see this before?  What happened to this new potato? 

Can potatoes be grown organically without pesticides?  How? 

If you have never had itty bitty new potatoes, just boil and sauté with butter, you must try them. Get them at farmer's markets!!