I’ve discussed the intelligence of plants and communicating with aliens. (I write scifi/fantasy so this has to interest me!) In our changing world, this is a skill we might have to learn and could start by practicing on plants.

Much to my amazement while reading The Week magazine, I discovered I’m not the only one who believes in plant intelligence. (Okay; I know this depends on your definition of intelligence, but this is also a matter of considering exactly what intelligence causes to happen. Do I know plants don’t write fiction or contemplate philosophy — yes, probably.) Investigations have shown certain evidence that plants might not only be able to talk to each other, but also wage high-tech chemical warfare.

Three have researched how plants use sound. Botanists in Australia, Britain, and Italy confirmed that the “young roots of corn made regular clicking sounds. They also found that young corn roots suspended in water leaned toward the source of a continuous sound emitted in the region of 220Hz, which is within the frequency range the same roots emitted themselves.” Though they don’t know how these sounds are made, or what they mean to the plants, they do acknowledge the plants respond.

This proves plants not only respond to light, react to volatile chemicals, but now to sound. All this without recognizable eyes, noses, ears, nervous systems, or brains. One of these researchers, Dr Monica Gagliano, from the University of Western Australia, said, “It is very likely that some form of sensitivity to sound and vibrations plays an important role in the life of plants.”

There is more, as I’ve found this old Internet article of 2007. Professor Stefano Mancuso is on a search for plant intelligence. He says, “If you define intelligence as the capacity to solve problems, plants have a lot to teach us,” and … “Not only are they ‘smart’ in how they grow, adapt and thrive, they do it without neuroses. Intelligence isn’t only about having a brain.”

So, while searching the web, you might discover more facts besides the sonar leaves of the Cuban plant, Marcgravia eveni. For instance, when Giraffes eat the leaves of acacia trees, the leaves munched upon emit a volatile chemical that alters the chemical balance in other leaves that turns them poisonous and unpalatable. The Giraffes stop eating the leaves. Bracken fern, like the eucalyptus tree, have developed methods to survive wild fires, moreover they both also encourage those fires to get rid of their competition. How about some proof plants recognize their own species? Yep. Some seem to do so. And how about orchids that have altered their scent to that of the female sexual hormone of the pollinating insects? Yep. True. Smart? I think so, but there is so much more. So give a few snaps for those smarty-pants corn seedlings!

Advertisements