The Light Eaters by Zoë Schlanger

Staff Pick

The notion of plant “behavior”--let alone intelligence--has long drawn scientific skepticism. But what else would you call it when sunflowers that overshadow other plants never shade their own kind, or when sagebrush summons the one kind of wasp that preys on the caterpillar eating its leaves, or when a flower blooms early to take advantage of early arriving bees? Then there’s the boquila trifoliata, a vine that can morph into any plant it grows near. Following researchers worldwide, Schlanger reports on cutting edge work showing plants can identify relatives, talk to one another, recall, and pass down experiences. That they can hear, taste, smell, and respond to what they sense. How do they do all this? Whether it’s a range of chemical reactions, the result of a biome of micro-organisms, interactions with the environment or all of the above, the questions are changing how we look not just at vegetation but at all life.  

The Light Eaters: How the Unseen World of Plant Intelligence Offers a New Understanding of Life on Earth By Zoë Schlanger Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780063073852
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Harper - May 7th, 2024

Planta Sapiens by Paco Calvo

Staff Pick

Calvo's fascinating facts do more than just enchant--they build a path of evidence showing that non-human creatures may have intelligence. Consider, for example, how plants track a moving light source through the day, or how tropical greens deck themselves out with foliage before a rain to capitalize on the growing season ahead. These and similar plant behaviors would seem to require a mind to direct them. As a gardening enthusiast it's always been obvious to me that plants have feelings, and I love this engaging and intriguing book.

 

 

Planta Sapiens: The New Science of Plant Intelligence By Paco Calvo, Natalie Lawrence (With) Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780393881080
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 14th, 2023

Planta Sapiens, by Paco Calvo

Staff Pick

In his inspiring exploration of plant cognition, Calvo shows that while plants may lack an animal's neurons, they nonetheless possess a cellular information-processing system. Before reading this engaging book I'd had no idea, for instance, that the smell of freshly cut grass comes from the “chemicals released by the wounded plant to warn nearby grasses to mobilize their defenses.” In this thoroughly enjoyable volume Calvo has made an important contribution to a growing, albeit still controversial, field.

 


 

Planta Sapiens: The New Science of Plant Intelligence By Paco Calvo, Natalie Lawrence (With) Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780393881080
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 14th, 2023