What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses

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Macmillan, May 22, 2012 - Gardening - 177 pages
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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.


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WHAT A PLANT KNOWS: A Field Guide to the Senses

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The science behind how a plant senses and adapts to its environment.Director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences at Tel Aviv University, Chamovitz realized early in life that "the genetic ... Read full review


ONE What a Plant Sees
TWO What a Plant Smells
THREE What a Plant Feels
FOUR What a Plant Hears
FIVE How a Plant Knows Where It Is
SIX What a Plant Remembers
Epilogue The Aware Plant

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About the author (2012)

Daniel Chamovitz, Ph.D., is the director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences at Tel Aviv University. He has served as a visiting scientist at Yale University and at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and has lectured at universities around the world. His research has appeared in leading scientific journals. Chamovitz lives with his wife and three children in Hod HaSharon, Israel.

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