Plants can talk. Yes, really. Here’s how.
Animals aren’t the only ones with the gift of gab. But what are plants actually “saying” to each other? The answer could help feed the world.
“Help!” “Land here!” “Conserve resources!” “Get off!” “My fruits are ready to eat!”
These are just some of the many messages we know plants—from a patch of moss to a 300-foot sequoia—can send. In fact, if you’ve ever smelled freshly mowed grass, you’ve communicated with a plant.
“I think we're seeing that the complexity [of communication] is just as great with plants as it is with animals,” says Mamta Rawat, a microbiologist and program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF). “I think there's a lot more to be learned—we’re just touching the tip of the iceberg.”
In March, a new study showed many different plant species make ultrasonic sounds to communicate stress. It’s the latest evidence showing how plants “talk”