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Tiny vine growing in the middle metal steps. By Martin Hill.

On the metal stairs at the Berlin-Karlshorst train station, between the S-Bahn and regional train platforms, our faithful correspondent Martin Hill “tripped over” this specimen on his way to work. (more…)

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Huge rectangular shrub with basketball hoop embedded in it.

If you like oddities in urban space, plant-related or otherwise, @jesmcdowell‘s photos are for you. One of the funniest folks I know on Instagram, whom I’ve been following for almost four years now.

This is but one of Jes’s kooky finds. If anyone has an idea how this basketball hoop plant was grown/constructed, I could really use some theories.

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Flowers grow from thin gap between building and sidewalk. Plants grow from thin gap between building and sidewalk.

Hollyhocks and few other plants are thriving in the tiny gap between the buildings and sidewalks of Denver (though a few look like they’ve been pruned).

Min Li Chan of San Francisco send this photo-report from her travels to the RiNo arts district, which she described as “an industrial area turned hipster art neighborhood, not unlike Williamsburg five years ago.” Perhaps we should compare Brooklyn plants to Denver plants?

Thank you to Min Li for stopping to observe some urban plants and share them with us!

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Old piano covered with living plants

 

This old piano, exploding with ivy and potted flowers, stands on a sidewalk in Brighton and Hove, UK. A passing urban plant aficionado shared it with us, asking to remain unnamed. Thank you, friend!

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Slatted wooden window with large green leaf poking in from the outside.

A large green organism reached through a bathroom window in Kauai today, startling Urban Plant Research contributor Marko Förstel. The scientist, who is visiting Kauai for an academic conference, quickly snapped a picture to share with us. Further inspection revealed that the green being was a banana tree. Thank you, Marko, for sharing this cheeky Kauai resident. Bathroom visitors, beware!

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Many discarded Christmas trees lined up along the curb.

“How did my seven-unit building produce ten dumped trees? Don’t ‘miracle of Christmas’ me, Brooklyn, you’ve got some explaining to do,” says playwright and keen-eyed New Yorker Mike Lew.

Any theories?

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Outdoor bronze bust of Queen Luise decorated with berries and seeds.

A report from Berlin, the former headquarters of Urban Plant Research. While I’ve been busy getting oriented amongst the tropical flora of Hawaii, my friend Dorothee of Lilienfeld sent in this report from the grounds of Schloss Charlottenburg. She found the station of Queen Luise thus decorated. She notes that the pearl earrings are made of snowberries. These are also known as “Knallerbsen,” the German term for the small novelty explosives now in English as bang-snaps or poppers. Was it the Queen’s birthday? Or did the fall abundance of horse chestnuts and berries inspire an impromptu decorating session? I don’t know, but I am charmed.

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