Flower attracts insects by pretending to be a mushroom

Aspidistra elatior flowers blooming half-buried in the earth. Credit: Image courtesy of Kobe University The mysterious flowers of Aspidistra elatior are found on the southern Japanese island of Kuroshima. Until recently, scientists thought that A. elatior has the most unusual pollination ecology among all flowering plants, being pollinated by slugs and amphipods. However, direct observation of their ecosystem has revealed that they are mainly pollinated by fungus gnats, probably thanks to their resemblance to mushrooms. This discovery was made by Project Associate Professor SUETSUGU Kenji (Kobe University Graduate School of…

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Mushrooms are full of antioxidants that may have antiaging potential

Robert Beelman is Professor Emeritus of Food Science at Penn State and Director of the Center for Plant and Mushroom Foods for Health. Credit: Patrick Mansell Story Source: Materials provided by Penn State. Mushrooms may contain unusually high amounts of two antioxidants that some scientists suggest could help fight aging and bolster health, according to a team of Penn State researchers. In a study, researchers found that mushrooms have high amounts of the ergothioneine and glutathione, both important antioxidants, said Robert Beelman, professor emeritus of food science and director of…

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