What A Plant Knows

What A Plant Knows

A Field Guide to the Senses

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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Baker & Taylor
Explores the secret lives of various plants, from the colors they see to whether or not they really like classical music to their ability to sense nearby danger.

McMillan Palgrave

How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? Can it actually feel an insect's tiny, spindly legs? And how do cherry blossoms know when to bloom? Can they actually remember the weather?

For centuries we have collectively marveled at plant diversity and form-from Charles Darwin's early fascination with stems to Seymour Krelborn's distorted doting inLittle Shop of Horrors. But now, in What a Plant Knows, the renowned biologist Daniel Chamovitz presents an intriguing and scrupulous look at how plants themselves experience the world-from the colors they see to the schedules they keep. Highlighting the latest research in genetics and more, he takes us into the inner lives 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. Chamovitz shows how plants know up from down, how they know when a neighbor has been infested by a group of hungry beetles, and whether they appreciate the Led Zeppelin you've been playing for them or if they're more partial to the melodic riffs of Bach. Covering touch, sound, smell, sight, and even memory, Chamovitz encourages us all to consider whether plants might even beaware of their surroundings.

A rare inside look at what life is really like for the grass we walk on, the flowers we sniff, and the trees we climb,What a Plant Knows offers us a greater understanding of science and our place in nature.



Book News
Can plants be said to see, smell, hear, even remember? Having found that plants and humans share genes that regulate responses to light, Chamovitz (Manna Center for Plant Biosciences, Tel AvivU.) describes parallels between their senses. He presents a fascinating, accessible account of what is known, unknown, and controversial about plants' capabilities. The book includes drawings and details on Darwin's research on plants. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Baker
& Taylor

Paralleling the human senses, the author explores the secret lives of various plants, from the colors they see to whether or not they really like classical music to their ability to sense nearby danger.

Publisher: New York : Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374288730
0374288739
Branch Call Number: 571.2 C357w
Characteristics: 177 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

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a
AndrewNKawam
Jun 28, 2016

This is one of the most fascinating and enlightening science books I have read in a while. From classic botanical experiments to recent findings in genetics and biochemistry, this book discusses a plethora of astounding information. If you are passionate about biology you will love this book.

a
augsburgerin
Mar 23, 2015

Do you talk to your plants? Well, they may be able to hear you. Learn more about how plants experience the world than you may have thought possible.

b
BlueHippo
Mar 29, 2014

Interesting concept but the book itself is pretty boring-I doubt I will finish it

j
johnsankey
Aug 06, 2013

The title is provocative but accurate. Most of what humans know is electrical mediated by biochemistry; most of what a plant knows is biochemical with some use of electricity for communication. If you believe as I do that a wall thermostat displays one bit of consciousness (the minimum amount), this book shows that plants are indeed conscious, even self-conscious to a degree.

An excellent summary of the topic and more readable than most biology books.

l
Leynia
Jun 11, 2013

Good good good.
The Publisher's Weekly review on the library's web site, "...the book is unlikely to appeal to nonbotanists," is hogwash.

NewYorkViews Jan 02, 2013

This could have easily been a five-star book if the publisher would have given more to style in content. The plant pictures are light drawings not color plates, missing are several introductory sentences such as the numbers of species of plants, different types (aquatic, land, desert, etc). In the chapters, are missing introductory sentences such as the number of chemicals for plant defences, and more than just one example (i.e., protection for pathogens, but not ozone?). The ultilization of one plant study of tomatoes to cover many different species is not really thrilling. The Venus Flytrap, but not also the Pitcher Plant... The book could still be quaintly small with just a little more work on adding a few sentences and color plates and photos. It is also too modernly eurocentric, a bit more indigenous worldwide material could have been added--a few more sentences. Not explained is whether plants feel pain in a different way--this is left open only sometimes but not resolute--as plants are still a mystery. Other than these quibbles, it is great that several issues of a plant's knowledge are discussed in an easy-to-read style.

s
smichal
Dec 09, 2012

Interesting and light read! Recommended for plant lovers. I liked the part the best about the predator plant sniffing around for tomato plants to attack.

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