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Ask a scientist
Here are some of the questions New South Wales school children - primary and secondary - asked our scientists during our last ‘Ask a Scientist’ program.
How many kinds of plants are there?
How many different species of plants are there in Australia?
Which plants live the longest?
How long does a Moreton Bay fig live for?
What is the biggest tree in the world?
Are any plants dangerous to humans?
How can you tell if a plant is poisonous?
What sort of plants give you rashes?
Why don’t some trees lose their leaves in winter?
Are all marine plants highly tolerant of salt?
Why does the sunflower follow the sun?
What do plants eat?
Do carnivorous plants digest anything larger than insects?
What parts of plants produce oxygen?
What makes a herb a herb?
How long can a plant normally go without water?
How many kinds of moss are there in the world?
How do trees grow?
How do trees rot?
Why do insects like plants?
Is there much research going into the pathology of plants and the diseases that plants contract?
What’s the best spray to use to get bugs off staghorns?
What pesticides should we use to control insect pests?
Click here to find out more about plant pests & diseases.
How often should you water plants?
What is the trick to growing a good vegetable garden?
Are there any plants that can be planted with seeds?
Is it possible to get hold of endangered plants and try to grow them?
How is tissue culture performed in the propagation of plants?
Would it be economically possible for school students to propagate plants by tissue culture?
What are the possible effects of reducing the genetic variability of certain species of commercially-grown fruit and vegetables by means of tissue culture in the event of some disease or catastrophe?
Are there any real advantages in growing vegetables and fruits organically?
How do grafts grow?
What kind of soil do you plant gum trees in and when do you plant them?
What special care do coastal plants need?
How many coastal plants are good for shade?
What plants are weeds?
Why is morning glory classified as a weed in Australia?
What can you do to get rid of weeds?
What can we do to control the week bitou bush?
Are there any environmentally friendly sprays to kill bindiis?
Click here to find out more about weeds.
What type of soil do gum trees grow in?
What is the most endangered plant in Australia?
Why are individual eucalypt species such as the Sydney Blue Gum confined to specific localities?
What plants could adapt to the Sydney coastal area?
Are there any rare plants in Sydney?
What are the best native plants to use on the coast as ground covers?
We have several gardening fact sheets on growing native plants.
What is the relationship between Grevillea and close relations, if any, in other parts of the world?
What are the reasons for the relationships between Grevillea and its relatives in South America and Africa?
Does a fossil have to be an extinct animal or animal, or not?
How did the climatic changes due to continental drift affect Australia’s flora and fauna?
How did the break-up of Gondwana affect the distribution of the flora and fauna present in Australia?
What evidence is there for the evolution of eucalypts in Australia?
Have Angophoras and eucalypts evolved from a common ancestor?
Since the cycads are ancient trees and they live to be 1000 years or more, why aren’t they dominating the tropical forest regions of the world?
What plant life lives in Antarctica?
Is there anything is the environment that is destroying or threatening the plant life in Antarctica?
Are there any plants in Antarctica essential for research purposes or indicators of change that might be occurring in the environment?
How many rainforest foods do we produce in Australia?
Are there any plants in Australian rainforests which produce seeds that are poisonous?
Where are most of the foods founds in the rainforest?
What foods do we eat today which originated from rainforests?
Are there any medicines that come from rainforest plants?
Which is the world’s biggest rainforest?
Click here to find out more about rainforests.
How do plants get their names?
What is the basis for plant classification?
How are names like ‘Myrtaceae’ chosen?
Are there any plants that are hard to classify?
Click here to find out more about plant names & classification.
How much training does it take to become a botanist?
What degree does a botanist have?
How long does it take to find out all about plants?
How do you find out so much information about plants?
What is it like to be a scientist?
Click here to find out about careers & jobs at the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust.