Friday 26 November 2010

Sense and sensibility

Galanthus 'George Elwes' planted November 2010
With permafrost setting in on the Cotswolds I am glad that the last bulbs - fifteen hundred or so snowdrops - were safely planted earlier this week. Having been stored in a cool shed over the summer since lifting in June they are in good condition, though most were pushing out a shoot and developing short roots. One would not recommend keeping snowdrops out of the ground until late November, but as with use-by dates, horticultural practice and recommendations do not always have to coincide.

When planting bulbs I often wonder just how quickly they sense that they are back in the ground. My knowledge of plant physiology is relatively limited, but it is obvious that if a root tip comes into contact with moisture, electroconnectivity will be established almost immediately, enabling the plant to respond in the appropriate fashion as its physiological processes mobilize to react to the stimuli received.

Browsing the gardening blogs recently I came across this video (see link below), posted on Lost in the Landscape. It has some very thought-provoking insights into the place of plants in the philosophical world order, and explores sensibilities in plants, especially in the root tips, through their neurobiology to theoretical applications in technology. Professor Stefano Marcuso speaks English in a charmingly Italian fashion, so the subtitles may be found useful.

Stefano Mancuso: The roots of plant intelligence Video on

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful. I am so glad you passed this on. What an interesting man he is, should like to meet him.


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