Plants can "talk" to each other to warn their neighbours of potential threats, scientists believe.

Two decades after the Prince of Wales invited derision by saying that plants respond to human speech, a study has shown that their communication skills are much more advanced than previously thought.

Chemical messages exchanged between plants allow them to send out alerts when pests attack and even discuss the presence of pollinators such as bees, the research indicates.

In tests, sagebrush shrubs had their leaves "clipped" as if they were being eaten by grasshoppers or other herbivores.

Other sagebrush plants growing near the clipped shrubs proved more resilient than control plants without damaged neighbours, indicating that they had received warning of the threat.

"Plants not only respond to reliable cues in their environments but also produce cues that communicate with other plants and with other organisms," said Richard Karban of the University of California, who coauthored the study with Kaori Shiojiri of Kyoto University.

The research, which is published in the journal Ecology Letters, showed that plants are "capable of more sophisticated behaviour than we imagined," Prof Karban added.

The Prince of Wales was widely mocked by gardeners for saying that it was "very important" to talk to plants, but a recent study by the Royal Horticultural Society found that tomato plants do respond to the human voice.


Pretty interesting video on how plants react when threatened.

Responses to "Plants 'talk' to warn each other of threats (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    I talk to my poisonous Ivy every single night!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    too funny!lol ,thanks for the great post x2!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for the video it is what I have always though, even known...Great to see it like this.

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