5 facts you didn’t know about plants

Plant-growing Romolo Tavani/Shutterstock

Plants — they’re just like us! Recent research tells us that plants can sense way more than we’ve given them credit for.

They have eyes

Sensory proteins detect the presence of light and tell plants when it’s day or night. This is why they’ll bend toward the strongest light source. And why they don’t wear their sunglasses at the wrong time. Like Corey Hart.

They can smell

Maybe gall flies just wear too much Clinique Happy? A 2017 study in Nature Communications reported that goldenrod plants were able to identify and react to the odours of their predators.

They’re into PDA

German forester Peter Wohlleben says that trees “form bonds like an old couple, where one looks after the other.” They also like to cuddle, he claims. Aw, sounds romantic. Actually, no it doesn’t. Cuddling a tree sounds uncomfortable.

They know when they’re being eaten

This is crazy: research shows that thale cress releases chemicals in response to caterpillars eating its leaves. This is crazier: The plants can tell the difference between chewing and vibrations from wind or sound.

They cry for help

Drought-stressed trees emit “screams,” say French experts. But the sound — from tiny bubbles forming inside the trunks — is so high-pitched that it’s inaudible. Except to Lassie and the casts of the Real Housewives franchise.

Featured Video