What a Plant Knows: Do They Smell or See?

What a Plant Knows: Do They Smell or See?

This is part two following my last write-up What a Plant Knows: Do they Feel or Hear?, which discussed whether plants feel or hear (In a nutshell, they’re pretty deaf but they do react to touch – think venus flytrap, the plant that traps insects that walk onto it). I recently finished What a Plant Knows by Daniel Chamovitz, a plant scientist who comes from a family of physicians. He decided to go another route and became a plant scientist, but has been surprised to see many similarities between the plant world and the animal world – prompting the angle of his book.

So, do plants see and smell? [Read more...]

What a Plant Knows: Do they Feel or Hear?

What a Plant Knows: Do they Feel or Hear?

I just finished an interesting book, What a Plant Knows, by Daniel Chamovitz.  I thought I would write up some highlights, which will also help me recall them better… I’ll break it into two posts: this one will cover what a plant feels and hears.

My takeaway : I can probably stop talking to my plants because they’re deaf — and I shouldn’t touch them too much. But research shows plants smell, use salicylic acid (aspirin) to ward off infections. Plants also see [Read more...]

Plant Smarts: Do Plants Feel?

Plant Smarts: Do Plants Feel?

I’ve always been intrigued with research that shows that plants communicate and may even show feelings (see my experiences below) but am aware of skepticism surrounding the subject. There’s a 1973 book “The Secret Life of Plants” by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird that talks about polygrapher Cleve Backster’s studies with plants. Briefly, Backster, a well-respected lie detector expert, on a whim attached electrodes to a leaf on his office dracaena plant, curious to see how it reacted. [Read more...]