ROSE

Cosmos - - Gallery - CREDIT: DAVID M. PHILLIPS / GETTY IMAGES

For­ever en­twined with war­ring Bri­tish roy­als and Shake­spearean ser­e­nades, the rose is feted for its botanic beauty and as a sym­bol of love. But cul­ti­vars of the Rosaceae fam­ily have also been prized for their re­me­dial prop­er­ties. In the 19th cen­tury the Bri­tish Phar­ma­copeia rec­om­mended a tinc­ture made with petals of the French rose ( Rosa gal­lica) to treat di­ar­rhoea. Rose­hip tea, made from the fruit of the rose plant, is cred­ited with a range of health ben­e­fits. Now the rose could be about to go high-tech: by pump­ing a rose’s vas­cu­lar sys­tem with a con­duct­ing hy­dro­gel, sci­en­tists have ef­fec­tively turned it into an energy stor­age de­vice. A “power plant” by any name.

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