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, smell and possibly even hear signals from other plants.

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

But 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 but to themselves, while their nosy neighbors take advantage of the situation and eavesdrop.

At this point, there are more questions than answers, I admit, but it's becoming clear 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 (1)
  • MaxMicheletti
    4/22/2015 - 06:21 p.m.

    This article is about whether or not plants can communicate. Many people think that plants just sit there until they die, but that isn't true. The plants actually communicate using many ways. The smell of freshly cut grass is actually a chemical signal telling other plants to go on the defensive. They can also feel other plants around them, and walls. Wow! I never knew that plants can communicate. This hangers my whole perspective on plants!

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