How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? Can it actually feel an insect’s tiny, spindly legs? And how do cherry blossoms know when to bloom? Can they...
How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? Can it actually feel an insect’s tiny, spindly legs? And how do cherry blossoms know when to bloom? Can they actually remember the weather?
For centuries we have collectively marveled at plant diversity and form—from Charles Darwin’s early fascination with stems to Seymour Krelborn’s distorted doting in Little Shop of Horrors. But now, in What a Plant Knows, the renowned biologist Daniel Chamovitz presents an intriguing and scrupulous look at how plants themselves experience the world—from the colors they see to the schedules they keep. Highlighting the latest research in genetics and more, he takes us into the inner lives of plants and draws parallels with the human senses to reveal that we have much more in common with sunflowers and oak trees than we may realize. Chamovitz shows how plants know up from down, how they know when a neighbor has been infested by a group of hungry beetles, and whether they appreciate the Led Zeppelin you’ve been playing for them or if they’re more partial to the melodic riffs of Bach. Covering touch, sound, smell, sight, and even memory, Chamovitz encourages us all to consider whether plants might even be aware of their surroundings.
A rare inside look at what life is really like for the grass we walk on, the flowers we sniff, and the trees we climb, What a Plant Knows offers us a greater understanding of science and our place in nature.
Flower power: The unfolding research on plants Scientists who study plants at a molecular level say that gardens are a sensorial experience for the plants. Seth Doane talks with Daniel Chamovitz, author of WHAT A PLANT KNOWS, about the genetic and biological complexity of plants.
Judiciously manipulating similes with dashes of anthropomorphism, Chamovitz introduces each of the vital human senses (all except taste) and explains its meaning for humans as contrasted with its function in plants. —Audubon Magazine