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BBC News - More light shed on orchids that deceive bees

BBC News - More light shed on orchids that deceive bees | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it
The secrets of orchids that trick male insects into pollinating them by mimicking females are revealed by scientists.
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Amusing footage of bee trying to copulate with an orchid flower.  Deception pollination.

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Eve Emshwiller's comment, April 29, 2013 11:09 AM
oops, I meant to post this on my other topic, Botany teaching & cetera.
Ethnobotany: plants and people
Plants and peoples and their interactions
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Summary of the Internationl Rice Congress, with photos and videos

Summary of the Internationl Rice Congress, with photos and videos | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it
In the blink of an eye, IRC2014 has come and gone. A week ago we were saying farewell to friends old and new, and getting set to leave Bangkok and return home. Was IRC2014 a success? The feedback w...

Via Mary Williams
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Mary Williams's curator insight, November 9, 5:25 AM

I love this photo - the goldfish are a brilliant touch

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Brewery recreates 3,500-year-old Scandinavian alcohol

Brewery recreates 3,500-year-old Scandinavian alcohol | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it
New research has found that ancient Scandinavians drank alcohol made from a combination of barley, honey, cranberries, herbs and grape wine.
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

These studies on reconstructed beer recipes are always popular.

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Searching for the Amazon's Hidden Civilizations

Searching for the Amazon's Hidden Civilizations | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it
Statistical model predicts signs of agriculture in the rainforest
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Hat tip: Mario Rosina Barragán

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Christian Allié's curator insight, January 12, 4:20 AM

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........  ” The areas designated as terra preta-free, on the other hand, were sampled and categorized by ecologists and geologists, often long before anyone was looking for terra preta or other signs of pre-Columbian settlements in the Amazon. Just because a region is labeled terra preta-free now, Heckenberger suspects, doesn’t mean there isn’t any terra pretathere. It just means archaeologists haven’t been there to look for it—yet. McMichael’s map “serves as a reminder of what we don’t know” about the Amazon’s past, he says.

McMichael agrees that a terra preta-free label should not be taken as proof that humans never settled a region. The relative lack of terra preta around the Llanos de Moxos earthworks proves that humans didn’t necessarily enrich the soil, or do so in the same way, everywhere they lived, she says. “I would think that cultures adapted differently to the different environmental conditions,” creating terra preta where the natural soil was particularly poor and modifying their environment in other ways in regions where they didn’t necessarily need to enrich the soil to support large populations.

McMichael hopes to use her statistical methods to model all different kinds of ancient human impacts on the Amazon. Her team has a paper in press at the Journal of Biogeography predicting the locations of earthworks, and eventually she hopes to create a map correlating past human settlements with various ecological patterns. If pre-Columbian humans encouraged the spread of particular plants and animals they found helpful in the regions around their settlements, for example, that might affect species distribution in the Amazon today. Soon, scientists might be able to go beyond earthworks and agriculture and read the Amazon’s history in the forest itself.

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An Approach for Teaching Diversity

"A Dozen Suggestions for Enhancing Student Learning by Jim Winship

 

The key word in this title is "An"—this is "an approach" not "the approach" to teaching about diversity. The dozen suggestions here were derived from an extensive literature review, conversations with a number of people nationwide who are knowledgeable about the subject, the contributions of a dozen UWW faculty during a LEARN Center discussion group on "Teaching about Diversity, Teaching in Multicultural Contexts" in the Spring of 2003, and my own twenty-five-plus years of college teaching, twenty-two of these at UW-Whitewater. At UW-Whitewater, I teach a diversity course that draws students from all four colleges at the university and I also integrate diversity-related content and skill development in the social work courses I teach.

The following list of twelve suggestions is not exhaustive. They are ones that are supported by published literature on teaching for diversity, on effective college teaching, and are ones that both colleagues here at UW-Whitewater and I have found effective in teaching our undergraduate students. Faculty are encouraged to adopt those that fit with their discipline and teaching style, and adapt the exercises, simulations, and other materials on this website to their specific courses. The twelve suggestions are roughly sequential—starting with course planning and the start of a class, followed by ideas and approaches that can be used throughout a semester, ending with the importance of providing and receiving feedback."

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How Nikolay Vavilov, the seed collector who tried to end famine, died of starvation

How Nikolay Vavilov, the seed collector who tried to end famine, died of starvation | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it
Nikolay Vavilov collected more seeds, tubers and fruits than any person in history. Gary Paul Nabhan chronicled Vavilov's quest in Where Our Food Comes From.
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The Twelve Days of Christmas Plants: Peppermint

The Twelve Days of Christmas Plants: Peppermint | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it

This series of posts will highlight the plants that help you celebrate the Yuletide season. From candy canes to lattes, peppermint just tastes like winter. Here’s more on the flora behind the flavor.ob

Peppermint is a sterile hybrid (Mentha × piperita) of watermint (Mentha aquatic) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). Even though it doesn’t produce seeds, it is a prolific propagator via vegetative growth of stolons (plant biology word of the day). In the case of mint, stolons are runners of the root system just below the soil surface that can establish their own root system and plant. Because mint is very good at this, it can be quite invasive once it gets established.

Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Useful link for the module with mentha and yerba buena in Ethnobotany course (comparing medicinal plant use between immigrants and their source countries).

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Christian Allié's curator insight, January 3, 5:25 AM

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..... but there is a physiological reason that peppermint is the flavor of winter. It turns out that the cooling sensation of mint (think breath mints or menthol chest rubs) is not just a marketing gimmick. The main peppermint flavor ingredient, menthol, activates TRPM8 (aka Transient Receptor Potential cation channel subfamily M member 8), which is involved in neuronal signaling of cooling sensations. The action of TRPM8 (a channel that allows for the flux of cations like calcium) is part of the biochemical basis for how mammals sense temperature, innocuous cooling specifically. Because menthol triggers TRPM8 into action at warmer temperatures than it normally would, it makes us feel like we are cooler than we actually are.

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TEDxFIU: Breeding climate resistant crops

TEDxFIU: Breeding climate resistant crops | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it
 
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Eric von Wettberg on importance of crop wild relatives for breeding crops resistant to climate change. Video is less than 10 minutes  

Hat tip: Allison Miller @ajmiller4233

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The irrational nature of pie

The irrational nature of pie | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it
What is a nut, and why is the answer so convoluted? For Thanksgiving, Katherine explores pecans and the very best vegetarian turkey substitute ever: pecan pie.Traditions Thanksgiving is all about t...
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

"Fruit types should be fun, and yet people definitely have entrenched ideas about the right way to classify the fruit of a given species. We botanists seem to get particularly worked up over the definition of a nut ."
 
This engaging post will be fun to share with students when teaching about plant fruit classification. 

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Eve Emshwiller's curator insight, December 28, 2013 12:04 AM
Great fun for teaching crazy fruit classifications.
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Chemistry: A festive ferment : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Chemistry: A festive ferment : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it

"Harold McGee surveys a seething array of microbially transformed treats [mdash] from beard beer and grasshopper sauce to extreme herring and armpit cheese.

Rare is the holiday meal that does not owe many of its pleasures to invisible cooks with tongue-twisting names. Do you enjoy charcuterie and pickles? Bread with cultured butter? A drizzle of vinaigrette on this or that? A bit of cheese? Some chocolates? Wine, beer or cider? Then raise a glass to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Leuconostoc mesenteroides and their ilk, the fungi and bacteria that do the real work of turning blandness into piquant delight."

Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Keep for fermentation topic in ethnobotany class.  Hat tip: @emmathegardener (Emma Cooper)

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People in Mexico Were Using Chili Peppers to Make Spicy Drinks 2400 Years Ago

People in Mexico Were Using Chili Peppers to Make Spicy Drinks 2400 Years Ago | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it
New analysis of the insides of ancient drinkware shows chemical traces of Capsicum species, proof positive that its owners made spicy beverages

Via Meristemi
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PLOS ONE: Reticulated Origin of Domesticated Emmer Wheat Supports a Dynamic Model for the Emergence of Agriculture in the Fertile Crescent

PLOS ONE: Reticulated Origin of Domesticated Emmer Wheat Supports a Dynamic Model for the Emergence of Agriculture in the Fertile Crescent | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it

We used supernetworks with datasets of nuclear gene sequences and novel markers detecting retrotransposon insertions in ribosomal DNA loci to reassess the evolutionary relationships among tetraploid wheats. We show that domesticated emmer has a reticulated genetic ancestry, sharing phylogenetic signals with wild populations from all parts of the wild range. The extent of the genetic reticulation cannot be explained by post-domestication gene flow between cultivated emmer and wild plants, and the phylogenetic relationships among tetraploid wheats are incompatible with simple linear descent of the domesticates from a single wild population. A more parsimonious explanation of the data is that domesticated emmer originates from a hybridized population of different wild lineages. The observed diversity and reticulation patterns indicate that wild emmer evolved in the southern Levant, and that the wild emmer populations in south-eastern Turkey and the Zagros Mountains are relatively recent reticulate descendants of a subset of the Levantine wild populations. Based on our results we propose a new model for the emergence of domesticated emmer. During a pre-domestication period, diverse wild populations were collected from a large area west of the Euphrates and cultivated in mixed stands. Within these cultivated stands, hybridization gave rise to lineages displaying reticulated genealogical relationships with their ancestral populations. Gradual movement of early farmers out of the Levant introduced the pre-domesticated reticulated lineages to the northern and eastern parts of the Fertile Crescent, giving rise to the local wild populations but also facilitating fixation of domestication traits. Our model is consistent with the protracted and dispersed transition to agriculture indicated by the archaeobotanical evidence, and also with previous genetic data affiliating domesticated emmer with the wild populations in southeast Turkey. Unlike other protracted models, we assume that humans played an intuitive role throughout the process


Via Dorian Q Fuller
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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, December 3, 2013 10:32 PM

This is a really important new study of emmer domestication, from the genetic point of view. It moves beyond the apparently conflicging signals of the many previously published studies that have tried to build trees out of what is within species, reticulate data. Instead, through a network analysis this study indicates that several areas (3?) of the Fertile Crescent were involved in the taking wild materials of emmer into cultivation, and much of the hybridization must have taken place before domestication during pre-domestication cultivation. Much of the distribution of wild emmer is suggested also to be anthropogenic from post-Glacial movement of wideseeds around the region, a process thhat doubtless intensified as early pre-domestication cultivation began.

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The Archaeobotanist: Origins of Rice Podcasts

The Archaeobotanist: Origins of Rice Podcasts | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it

Via Dorian Q Fuller
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Nice podcasts about domestication of rice, featuring both Dorian Fuller (archaeological studies) and Susan McCouch (molecular studies).  

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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, November 14, 2013 2:51 AM

Link to recent IRRI radio (Rice Today) interview on the archaeobotany of rice origins (with yours trully)

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Study demonstrates that indigenous hunting with fire helps sustain Brazil's savannas

Study demonstrates that indigenous hunting with fire helps sustain Brazil's savannas | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it

Indigenous use of fire for hunting is an unlikely contributor to long-term carbon emissions, but it is an effective environmental management and recovery tool against agribusiness deforestation, a new study from Indiana University and Brazil's...


Via Luigi Guarino
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Christian Allié's curator insight, December 15, 2013 9:15 AM

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In fact, since 2005, indigenous reserves have been responsible for more than 70 percent of the reduction in deforestation in Brazil, particularly in the Amazon and cerrado, according to study co-author Eduardo Brondizio.

"The Xavante situation at Pimentel Barbosa Reserve is emblematic of a puzzling phenomenon that is increasingly replicated throughout Brazil and the world: the formation of islands of environmental conservation surrounded by large-scale agribusiness," he said.

Brondizio is a professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Anthropology and a faculty associate of the Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change and the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, both research centers supported by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington.

The real challenge to conservation in the cerrado, he said, is not indigenous burning practices but how to achieve long-term sustainability of indigenous lands that are increasingly subsumed by agribusiness expansion. According to Brondizio, Xavante practices offer invaluable lessons regarding ecosystems and conservation.

"The Xavante show us how to maintain and use cultural practices to manage and recover the environment and call attention to the need to consider new governance systems that respect the rights of indigenous populations and promote conservation beyond reserves and protected areas," Brondizio says.



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-12-indigenous-sustain-brazil-savannas.html#jCp
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Kew’s 'codebreaker’ mourns his lily – Telegraph Blogs

Kew’s 'codebreaker’ mourns his lily – Telegraph Blogs | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it
Carlos Magdalena 'has done things no one else can do’ but a thief has put at risk his work to save a tiny, rare plant. Tom Chivers reports In a little warm puddle in rural Rwanda, a tiny flower used to grow; a water lily, barely half an inch across.
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Conservation, ethics, extinction, etc.

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To UW-Madison professor, there's nothing ordinary about vanilla

To UW-Madison professor, there's nothing ordinary about vanilla | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it

A UW-Madison expert on vanilla orchids crosses the world to ensure that the spice it produces remains a valuable agricultural product.

Madison— To Ken Cameron, vanilla is a lot sexier than its name implies.

The world's leading expert on the biology of vanilla orchids sees the popular spice, not as plain or ordinary, but as a beautifully complex and valuable commodity produced from the world's largest family of plants.

While bottles of vanilla extract fly off store shelves at this time of year as holiday bakers mix it into cakes, pies and cookies, vanilla is much more than a pastry chef's favorite spice.

Deodorants, household cleaners, popular brands of vodka, pill coatings, the finest perfumes, even Coke and Pepsi count vanilla as an ingredient. And, of course, it's the No. 1 selling ice cream.

"I often tell people, 'I'll challenge you that within 10 minutes of waking, you will encounter vanilla,'" Cameron said in his book- and plant-filled office at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he's a botany professor and director of the Wisconsin State Herbarium."


Read more from Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/newswatch/to-uw-madison-professor-theres-nothing-ordinary-about-vanilla-b99156145z1-236666281.html#ixzz2q3Z6nlzh
Follow us: @JournalSentinel on Twitter
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

A feature on my colleague Ken Cameron's research on vanilla orchids.

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What drives changes in food security and what does this imply for agricultural and food policy? | ReSAKSS - Asia

What drives changes in food security and what does this imply for agricultural and food policy? | ReSAKSS - Asia | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it

Food security is a particular concern for Asia. The first reason is the sheer size of Asia’s undernourishment problem. According to a recent FAO report, of the 868 million people estimated to be undernourished in the world, 564 million, or 65 percent of the total, reside in countries of Asia (FAO 2012). Undernourished people constitute 14 percent of the population of Asia. The problem is particularly alarming with regard to children. Among several Asian countries the incidence of childhood stunting exceeds 40 percent.


Via ReSAKSS-Asia
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Traditional knowledge, culture can be patented - Times of India

Traditional knowledge, culture can be patented Times of India MUMBAI: Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expression (TCE) reflecting a community's cultural and social identity, handed down generations, may soon be recognized as a...
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Useful for topic on Intellectual Property, Traditional Knowledge, Biopiracy, and research ethics in ethnobotany course.

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Michael Twitty on Culinary Injustice at MAD3 - YouTube

Learn more about culinary historian Michael Twitty's presentation at MAD3 on the MADfeed: http://tmblr.co/Z462xt-Vv4Rw
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

I will definitely show to ethnobotany class.  "Yum, yum, yummy."

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Community Biodiversity Management book is freely avaialable on line

Community Biodiversity Management book is freely avaialable on line | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it

Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research. Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research. Home · About us ... Bookmark and Share. Filed under: Publications. Tags: agrobiodiversity, Farmer, knowledge, natural resources management ...


Via Luigi Guarino
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Download it!

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The History Blog » Blog Archive » 1000-year-old vineyards found in Basque Country

The History Blog » Blog Archive » 1000-year-old vineyards found in Basque Country | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it

"Archaeologists from the University of the Basque Country have unearthed the tell-tale signs of viticulture dating to the 10th century at the archaeological site of Zaballa, in the Álava province of Basque Country, northern Spain. Zaballa is one of 300 rural settlements in the Álava region that were deserted hundreds of years ago. It’s the one that has been most thoroughly excavated and published."

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The Archaeology of Beer

The Archaeology of Beer | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it
Dogfish Head’s ancient, hybrid brews embody a past before ale and wine became separate categories.
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Crioconservacion de recursos geneticos de tuberculos y raices andinos en el Peru

Crioconservacion de recursos geneticos de tuberculos y raices andinos en el Peru | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it

Via International Potato Center (CIP)
Eve Emshwiller's insight:

Includes oca.

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International Potato Center (CIP)'s curator insight, November 14, 2013 10:58 AM

Panta, A.; Zea, B.; Sanchez, D.; Tay, D.; Roca, W.  2013. Crioconservacion de recursos geneticos de tuberculos y raices andinos en el Peru. IN: Gonzalez-Arnao, M.T.; Engelmann, F. (eds.). Criocoservacion de plantas en American Latina y el Caribe. San Jose, Costa Rica. IICA. pp.175-196.

http://repiica.iica.int/docs/B3099E/B3099E.PDF

Una de las principales funciones del CIP es desarrollar tecnologias para la conservacion de recursos fitogeneticos. El CIP ha integrado las colecciones mas grandes de recursos geneticos de los tres tuberculos mas importantes de la zona alto-andina: papa, oca, y ulluco. En el CIP las colecciones de germoplasma se conservan en el campo, en invernaderos, en forma de semilla botanica en camaras frias e in vitro mediante la aplicacion de tecnicas de cultivo de tejidos bajo crecimiento lento.

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Disease and Agriculture in Mississippian Period N. America | Bones ...

Disease and Agriculture in Mississippian Period N. America | Bones ... | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it
Diseases are an interesting thing. The development and location of an area can drastically change the types of diseases present, and which are most deadly. If you look at global health maps, such as HealthMap, you can see ...

Via Nanci J. Ross
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Following tradition: Top examples of indigenous knowledge preserving biodiversity, ecosystem service

Following tradition: Top examples of indigenous knowledge preserving biodiversity, ecosystem service | Ethnobotany: plants and people | Scoop.it
With the planet losing species 100 to 1,000 times faster than the natural extinction rate, international experts assembling for high-level global biodiversity meetings say knowledge co-production with indigenous peoples has growing importance.

Via Wildforests
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Trends in Plant Science - Botanical insecticides inspired by plant–herbivore chemical interactions

Botanical insecticides inspired by plant–herbivore chemical interactions

From Trends in Plant Science - Saber Miresmailli,Murray B. Isman

 

Plants have evolved a plethora of secondary chemicals to protect themselves against herbivores and pathogens, some of which have been used historically for pest management. The extraction methods used by industry render many phytochemicals ineffective as insecticides despite their bioactivity in the natural context. In this review, we examine how plants use their secondary chemicals in nature and compare this with how they are used as insecticides to understand why the efficacy of botanical insecticides can be so variable. If the commercial production of botanical insecticides is to become a viable pest management option, factors such as production cost, resource availability, and extraction and formulation techniques need be considered alongside innovative application technologies to ensure consistent efficacy of botanical insecticides.


Via Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research
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Annals of Botany: Plant Science Research's curator insight, November 21, 2013 3:56 AM
HighlightsChemical defense is not the only type of defense that plants use for protection.Botanical pesticides are not directly comparable to synthetic pesticides.Lack of standards cause significant variability in the efficacy of botanical pesticides.Destructive extraction of plant chemicals negate most of the evolutionary successful defensive traits.We examine underlying assumptions that are made when developing botanical products.We identify practical challenges and limitations that need to be addressed.