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Re: Plants The sixth sense

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Re: Plants The sixth sense
  • From: StellrJ@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 21:56:18 -0600 (CST)

In a message dated Thu, 31 Jan 2002 12:18:35 PM Eastern Standard Time, "brian williams" <pugturd50@hotmail.com> writes:

>   Well, I have been around plants my whole life and have been paying a lot 
> of attention to how they grow. I am sure some of you have theories on this 
> sixth sense they seem to have. 

"Sixth" sense?  So what are a plant's other 5 senses?

> The plant monstera deliciosa I have planted in a large pot with a totem. 
> Well, I decided to fertilize the two plants beside it for no real reason 
> some slow release fertilize. after about 3 to 4 weeks monstera had shoot two 
> roots in to both pots directly on to the fertilize. Now how the heck did it 
> know it was there?

Probably chemical particles in the air.  Plant roots are designed to seek out nutrient particles in the soil, so detecting similar particles in the air is but a small step.

> I have noticed root go all across the floor to get to water as well as roots 
> reaching out to grab wall that are a foot away. The seem no to be growing 
> blindly as some would think. Any one know where there eyes are?
Chloroplasts.  How else would plants "know" which way to turn toward the sun?  Seeking darkness is common in the seedling stages of many climbing aroids.
> Not to mention orchids and other plants impersonating other creatures in 
> order to have them pollinate there flowers. A lot say evolution with the 
> plant and insects that's hard for me to buy. Any ways how did the plant find 
> out what the insect looked like and its colors?

It didn't have to, any more than a lichen-mimic moth needs to know it looks like lichen.  In the case of the moth, start with a population of variously-colored moths who instinctively rest on lichen-covered tree trunks; then, those who happen to look most like lichens would be the survivors.  In the case of the plant, the same general principle operates.
Jason Hernandez

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