Author(s): Daniel Chamovitz
How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? Can it feel an insect's spindly legs? How do flowers know when it's spring? Can they actually remember the weather? And do they care if you play them Led Zeppelin or Bach? From Darwin's early fascination with stems and vines to "Little Shop of Horrors", we have always marvelled at plant diversity and form. Now, in "What a Plant Knows", the renowned biologist Daniel Chamovitz presents an intriguing and refreshing look at how plants experience the world. Highlighting the latest research in plant science, he takes us into the lives of different types of plants, and draws parallels with the human senses to reveal that we have much more in common with sunflowers and oak trees than we may realize. He explains how a willow knows when its neighbours have been taken over by a group of hungry beetles, and why an avocado will ripen in a paper bag with a banana (it's the pheromones). He shows how plants know up from down, and settles the debate, once and for all, over whether or not plants appreciate that music you've been playing.
Covering touch, sound, smell, sight, and even memory, Chamovitz considers whether it's too much to ask if plants are aware.
"The reader...will find enough absorbing science to concede that plants continue to inspire and amaze us. It's time, as Joni Mitchell sang at Woodstock, 'to get ourselves back to the garden' and take a closer look at plants."--"The Wall Street Journal
""This elegantly written account of plant biology will change the way you see your garden...Chamovitz lets us see plants in a new light, one which reveals their true wonder."--"The Guardian"
"Thick with eccentric plant experiments and astonishing plant science."--"Sunday Times" (UK)
"Plants may be brainless, eyeless and devoid of senses as we know them, but they have a rudimentary 'awareness', says biologist Daniel Chamovitz. In this beautiful reframing of the botanical, he reveals the extent and kind of that awareness through a bumper crop of research."--"Nature"
"Like us, a plant that aspires to win the rat race must exploit its environment. Even a daffodil can detect when you're standing in its light, and a rhododendron knows when you're savaging its neighbor with the pruning shears. With deftness and clarity, Daniel Chamovitz introduces plants' equivalent of our senses, plus floral forms of memory and orientation. When you realize how much plants know, you may think twice before you bite them." --Hannah Holmes, author of" Quirk" and" Suburban Safari"
"Just as his groundbreaking research uncovered connections between the plant- and animal kingdoms, Daniel Chamovitz's insights in "What a Plant Knows" transcend the world of plants. This entertaining and educational book is filled with wondrous examples that underscore how the legacy of shared genomes enables plants and animals to respond to their environments. You'll see plants in a new light after reading "What a Plant Knows."" --Gloria M. Coruzzi, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor, Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University
"If you've ever marveled at how and why plants make the choices they do, "What a Plant Knows" hold