Why Plant Intelligence is Real

••• Shannon West / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

Plants do not have eyes or ears, but they are still able to sense things. Researchers also know that plants can learn and adapt to their surroundings. Although current studies do not show that a tree or flower can feel pain, plants can sense when you are eating them. They lack a nervous system, but they have their own type of intelligence.

Plant Senses

When you think of senses, the five ones found in humans, which are sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing, usually come to mind. However, plants have different ways of sensing the world. They lack brains and nervous systems, yet they are able to respond to their environment.

For example, researchers have found that plants can sense when a caterpillar is eating them. It is not clear how a leaf can discern this without nerve cells or a neural network. However, researchers believe that a plant’s ability to send electrical signals may play a role. In addition, some plants have neurotransmitters, similar to the ones in humans, which may also contribute to a flower being able to sense a bug munching on its petals. Despite this, researchers do not think plants can feel pain when you eat them.

Plants are also able to react to environmental stresses. They can change shapes, close flowers and grow around things. When they are under attack, such as during a caterpillar invasion, plants can release extra defenses like additional mustard oil to fight back.

Plant Memory

Plants can remember things. They may not be able to tell you a fun story about their childhood or reminisce about a relative, but they can retain some types of information. An experiment by Monica Gagliano showed that the mimosa pudica plant could remember and learn from previous experiences. When Gagliano dropped the plants without hurting them, they stopped responding by closing their leaves after a while because they seemed to realize that this experience was harmless.

Plant Intelligence

The idea that plants may be intelligent is controversial. They do not have brains and do not think like animals. They cannot make decisions or sense the world in the same way that a person can. However, this does not mean that they lack their own special intelligence.

One of the accepted definitions of intelligence is being able to learn and apply that knowledge. Studies show that plants can learn from their environment and respond to it. Gagliano’s experiment revealed that they can remember previous experiences and apply that knowledge to a current situation. You may not be able to have a deep conversation with a plant about Plato, but you can appreciate its ability to survive and adapt.

Related Articles

Does Music Affect Plant Growth?
Plants Actually Panic When It Rains
What Is a Scientist Who Studies Plants Called?
Types of Endangered Rainforest Plants
Ideas for Things Kids Can View With a Microscope
Yup, Plants Can Sneeze (and Spread Diseases!)
What Are Five Different Fields of Botany?
Characteristics of Plants & Animals
Evidence-Backed Ways to Stay Focused When You Study
What Produces Sex Cells in a Plant?
Parasites in the Rain Forest
Endangered Plants of the Philippines
Do Plant Cells Have Flagella?
How Do Insects Benefit Flowering Plants?
Poisonous Plants in the Rain Forest
What Is a Responding Variable in Science Projects?
Plants That Contain Testosterone
What Is Function of the Pistil in Flowers?
Venus Flytrap Science Projects
Temperate Woodland & Shrubland Flowers

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!