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...]

Favorite Plants for Attracting Birds/Butterflies (California/Southwest)

Favorite Plants for Attracting Birds/Butterflies (California/Southwest)

In a follow-up to my post (Favorite Plants for Attracting Birds/Butterflies (Midwest/East)  here are some favorites from two of our homes, both landscaped with natives and other wildlife-attracting plants. (See Our Conversion to Low Water Landscaping). I also asked two friends in Arizona, for their favorites: [Read more...]

Favorite Plants for Attracting Birds/Butterflies (Midwest/East)

Favorite Plants for Attracting Birds/Butterflies (Midwest/East)

In a follow-up to my post (Landscaped Yard Ushers in Butterflies and Birds) about the Damons’ yard in St. Paul MN, I asked Susan for her favorite plants. Most are natives, a couple non-natives. Here is her reply (thanks Susan!) and more photos. [Read more...]

Landscaped Yard Ushers in Butterflies and Birds

Landscaped Yard Ushers in Butterflies and Birds

In an earlier article Going Native: Even Small Amounts Bring Benefits I gave Susan Damon’s yard in St. Paul, Minnesota as an example. Recently I asked her more questions and wanted to share what she and her husband Paul have experienced with their landscaping, along with some photos.
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...]

The Value of Old Growth Trees

The Value of Old Growth Trees

We’ve lived in Southern California now for 9 years and several years ago moved to Redlands, CA. This city has a long history dating back to the 1880s where it became the winter home for many wealthy Mid-westerners, similar to Pasadena. One thing that attracted us the most were Redland’s numerous old trees, many dating back 100 plus years. [Read more...]