Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The plants are conspiring against me

I'm outside every day at this time of year trying to make some plants happen and some plants not happen. None of them is helping much.

In particular, there is a ground cover vine out there variegated leaves and beautiful yellow flowers in spring. But this plant is invasive and just won't go away.

It would be nice to have Miss America out in the backyard. But if you had 100 of them, and more kept showing up, you'd lose interest.

I think so, anyway. It's just a metaphor.

Now I know how this Miss America ground cover fights back.
In studies of Arabidopsis thaliana, also known as mustard weed, the team found that when a leaf was nicked, the injured plant sent out an emergency alert to neighboring plants, which began beefing up their defenses.

"A wounded plant will warn its neighbors of danger," says Harsh Bais, who is an associate professor of plant and soil sciences in the University of Delaware's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. "It doesn't shout or text, but it gets the message across. The communication signals are in the form of airborne chemicals released mainly from the leaves."
I don't think that's fair play.

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