Can plants communicate? (Smithsonian.com)
Can plants communicate?
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You asked us, can plants communicate? Well, not too long ago if you answered yes to that question most people would think you were crazy.

But growing evidence suggests that plants can actually communicate. And, in more ways than one. You see, plants don't have mouths, eyes or ears. But they apparently see, feel and smell. They may also possibly hear signals from other plants.

That sweet summer smell of freshly cut grass is actually a blast of chemical signals. They are sent out by the injured grass, a warning to let other nearby plants know to go on the defensive.

Why would a plant want to give its competitors a heads up? What could the possible evolutionary benefit be? Well, some scientists think that plants aren't actually talking to each other. Rather, they are talking to themselves, while their nosy neighbors take advantage of the situation and eavesdrop.

At this point, there are more questions than answers, I admit. It's becoming clear though, that communication isn't limited to just animals like ourselves. Plants have a lot to say, too.

For more stories like this, check us out every day at smithsonian.com.

Critical thinking challenge: What has happened that changed some people's minds about whether plants can communicate?


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COMMENTS (27)
  • JaydrianR1212
    4/28/2015 - 08:37 p.m.

    I think these flowers will grow in the spring but, I saw flowers at my backyard. When it's raining in the spring the flowers will grow just like that. I like to see that!

  • ShecklenZ-Sua
    5/12/2015 - 06:42 p.m.

    Peoples minds changed wether plants communicate or not because this video tells you about how plants feel and smell.

    1. Eric schulze tells you that they can smell.

    2. And he tells you that they can feel.

    3. And I found out that they can see

  • KnightA-Sua
    5/12/2015 - 07:02 p.m.

    What has changed some people's minds about whether plants can communicate is that plants can see, feel and smell so they know what each other are saying. The first thing I think that is because in the article it said that they know what each other are saying because they can see, feel and smell. And since they can communicate in their special way they are talking but we do not know that. So plants can communicate with each other even when their is danger around. So that is how plants communicate
    with each other.

  • KnightA-Sua
    5/12/2015 - 07:02 p.m.

    What has changed some people's minds about whether plants can communicate is that plants can see, feel and smell so they know what each other are saying. The first thing I think that is because in the article it said that they know what each other are saying because they can see, feel and smell. And since they can communicate in their special way they are talking but we do not know that. So plants can communicate with each other even when their is danger around. So that is how plants communicate
    with each other.

  • KnightA-Sua
    5/12/2015 - 07:02 p.m.

    What has changed some people's minds about whether plants can communicate is that plants can see, feel and smell so they know what each other are saying. The first thing I think that is because in the article it said that they know what each other are saying because they can see, feel and smell. And since they can communicate in their special way they are talking but we do not know that. So plants can communicate with each other even when their is danger around. So that is how plants communicate
    with each other.

  • LiCausiM-Sua
    5/12/2015 - 07:35 p.m.

    Something that changed people's mind about how plants can communicate is the smell that they give off to tell other plants to go in defense mode. I know this because is says I in the story. Another reason I know this is because it is also in the video. Some thing else that changed their minds about plants communicating is how other plant that eavesdrop know what to do. That I what I think the answer to this question.

  • KerrF-Sua
    5/12/2015 - 07:55 p.m.

    Something that has happened that changed some people's minds about whether plants can communicate or not is because people have more research on possible ways plants can communicate. Like smell, see, feel, and even maybe hear. They send signals to each other that way. That is how plants can communicate.

  • DorrN-Sua
    5/12/2015 - 08:16 p.m.

    What happened that changed some people s minds about whether plants communicate was that every once and a while someone would start believing that plants can communicate. People think that because that sweet summer smell of freshly cut grass is actually a blast of chemical signals to other plants saying to defend themselves. they may also possibly hear signals from other plants talking to each other.

  • MayerS-Sua
    5/12/2015 - 08:49 p.m.

    What has happened that changed some people's minds about whether plants can communicate is people thought that plants that talked would be crazy.What has happened that changed some people's minds about whether plants can communicate is that scientist says that plants are talking but plants are talking to themselves. What has happened that changed some people's minds about whether plants can communicate is plants talk to the other plants to let them know that someone is coming. What has happened that changed some people's minds about whether plants can communicate is some plants eavesdrop on other planets that are talking to them serviles. That is why I think what has happened that changed some people's minds about whether plants can communicate.

  • ManiegoC-Sua
    5/12/2015 - 09:16 p.m.

    Plants changed people's mind by them seeing, smelling, and feeling. Why I think that because I didn't know that plants can do these kind of things. Also people like me didn't know that plants can do does things. It also made people's mind change because of what these plants can do. Lastly, it changed people's mind because people only knew that if they live then there healthy but they didn't know about this.

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