The Secret Life of Plants

Wilson A Taylor, Dr. Wilson Taylor taylorwa at UWEC.EDU
Tue Jan 23 10:02:35 EST 1996

Here is a hot one for you'ns (that is a contraction for 2nd person plural
like y'all, but is endemic to Western Pennsylvania, from which I hail -
there is your provincial idiom lesson for the day). I have never seen The
Secret Life of Plants, but have heard enough about it.  That is the film
that purportedly demonstrates the "emotional" responses of plants.  A
"scientist" in a white coat enters a room containing two plants and
violently chops one to pieces with a knife.  The other plant (the "witness")
then responds (via deflecting needles when attached to a lie detector or
some such instrument) to the next entry of a white coated assassin.

Does anyone know anything about 1) where I might get a copy of this, 2) is
there any validity to the claims, 3) was it ever replicated (I had heard
not) . . .?

It might make a good case study in a botany class involving controls,
alternative hypotheses, the experimental approach, how science works, etc.

Wil Taylor

Wilson A. Taylor
Department of Biology
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Eau Claire, WI  54701
taylorwa at


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