Plants! Can we really trust them?

winning the war against treesI’ve never really trusted plants — we don’t know enough about them.  I mean, how can something live for such a long time without moving around or doing any exercise? Are they lazy or smart? Or both? Hmmm, suspicious isn’t it?

Well, get this — now scientists have discoved that plants can recognise their relatives. Not only that, related plants will embrace and support each other, share scarce resources and help to attack “outsider” plants:

Botanists Harsh Bais at University of Delaware and Susan Dudley at Canada’s McMaster University already knew that at least some plants can recognize their siblings. The new research they report in Communicative & Integrative Biology explains how they do it. The roots of siblings secrete distinctive chemicals. That’s enough to establish a hugging relationship. Siblings often intertwine leaves while their roots grow in what seem to be food-sharing patterns. With strangers, the plants keep their distance above ground while going aggressively after the other guy’s food down below.

Sure, you might say, its only a chemical reaction, but what are humans but a bunch of chemical and electrical reactions and look how dangerous we are. I tell you, we need to be very, very careful. And if the plants turn on us, just like in M. Knight Shyamalan’s The Happening, those vegetarians will be first up against the wall.

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5 Responses

  1. Scariest thing I’ve read all week.

  2. Saw fascinating time-lapse footage of bramble growing (Attenboroughs Life of Plants ?) Writhing intense stabbing movement, unbelievable.

  3. “Little Shop, little shop of horrors…”

  4. Day of the Triffids!

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