Archive for October, 2014

The Most Versatile Impressionist In the Forest

2014 10 17 Boquila Vine

The Boquila vine shape-shifts itself to look like the leaves of whatever plant it is entwined with.

“Gianoli noticed that the leaves on one particular shrub seemed to be growing from two very different stems—one much thinner than the other. He eventually realised that the thin stems actually belonged to a Boquila vine, whose leaves were exactly the same as the shrub’s. He walked on and found Boquila entwined around many different trees; in most cases, its leaves matched those of its host. It looked like a mimic, and one with many guises.”

“This vine seems to mimic many specific models, depending on its host—something we’ve previously only seen in animals.”

Can Plants Think?

2014 10 08

This video by AsapScience, which does amazing things with whiteboard marker, offers an easily consumable summary of most of the research on plant communication: ethylene signalling, odour mimicking, tannin production, fungal network communication (the Wood Wide Web). Even corn that can hear!

“If you define intelligence, or thought, as the ability to solve problems, interact with an environment, or even work in groups, then plants are incredibly smart.”

A good resource to introduce the breadth of plant communication to learners.