Taller and prettier plants are more likely to be studied by botanists

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flowers

The blue flowers of Gentiana ligustica seem to attract scientific attention

FLPA / Alamy

Plants that are taller and more attractive are more likely to be studied by botanists, suggests an analysis of research conducted over the past 45 years.

Martino Adamo at the University of Turin in Italy and his colleagues analysed 280 scientific papers published between 1975 and 2020 that mention one or more of a selection of 113 small flowering plant species typical of the south-western Alps in Europe.

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Using a statistical model, they found that the physical appearance of a plant – its colour, the size of its flowers and the height of its stems – was the…

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