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What a Plant Knows

A Field Guide to the Senses

What a Plant Knows by Daniel Chamovitz
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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 in Little 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 be aware 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.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux; May 2012
192 pages; ISBN 9781429946230
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Title: What a Plant Knows
Author: Daniel Chamovitz
  • News
My experiments with silence - Livemint
Sat, 02 Jul 2016 11:10:51 -0700
LivemintMy experiments with silenceLivemintto the magnificent. In his fascinating book, What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to ...
The Mental Life of Plants and Worms - The New York Review of Books
Fri, 04 Apr 2014 09:56:06 -0700
The New York Review of BooksThe Mental Life of Plants and WormsThe New York Review of BooksAs Daniel Chamovitz argues in his ...
What The Petunia Knows - WBUR
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:34:44 -0700
WBURWhat The Petunia KnowsWBURThis program is rebroadcast from June 5, 2012. A broader network technical issue beyond our ...