- Author: Betty Victor
Do plants see, smell, feel, hear, remember and know where they are?
These are some of the questions that Daniel Chamovitz who has a PhD in genetics writes about in his book “What a Plant Knows”. One of the discoveries scientists found in their research, was that plants and animals have some of the same genes as humans DNA.
Do they see? Plants do not have eyes like animals or humans, but according to some researchers they see when it’s light and when it’s dark, they seem to sense which side the light is coming from. Could that explain why they grow towards the light? What about plants that grow in the shade, do they wilt and die because of the light? My question is how does this explain night-blooming plants, where there is only a street light or the moon for light? How do they know it’s time to bloom or when night comes? Is this the sense scientists are talking about?
Do plants smell odor? We know that they are a lot of plants that have odor, roses, sweet peas, society garlic to name just a few, but some scientist studies show they can smell odors from plants near them as well as their own aroma. These scientists also think they can sense when their or their neighbor’s fruit is ripe.
Do they feel? Some say yes they suggest they can tell the difference between hot and cold, when something brushes them, the wind, animals or humans. Researchers also think plants are more sensitive to touch then we humans are. The slightest touch will cause some to close their leaves.
Can they hear? On this question there is little credible research that they hear, or if they do how they respond to sound. Yet we have all heard that talking to plants helps their growth. Is this a myth? Even biologists Charles Darwin, played his own bassoon to see if his mimosa plant (Mimosa pudica) would close- when it didn’t he called it a “fools experiment”.
Do they remember? Some of the plants memory faculties are the same as humans, but they don’t have memories like we do, they don’t remember sunshine or drought, but in their own way they do retain some past events such as any damage done to them by insects or humans.
Do they know where they are? Again scientists differs on this; some say yes, other are not sure. They say plants know roots grow down, shoot up, just like tendrils usually know where support is for them to attach to. So if a seed is planted how it does know roots grow down, shoot up if they are not aware where they are.
This is a very interesting book that I only touch the surface on, but for plant lovers it has a lot of information from the author and researchers on if plants see, smell, feel, hear, and remember.