Basic Plant Phys questions

Mule mule at
Thu Nov 26 01:54:46 EST 1998

I can only comment on two things.  Although I do not know everything that is
being discussed in this thread, I am following it none-the-less to see if
someone has the answers.

1.  I think it isn't the amount or intensity of the light that matters, but
the range of the spectrum that the plant receives.  My thinking is this- You
take two of the same plants;  put a plant under a normal 60 watt light bulb
for lets say a week.  place the other plant under a Grow Light for perhaps
less time (lets say three and a half days).  We know that the plant
receiving the light from the Grow Light will prosper over the other plant
receiving normal light.  So I guess the question that I ponder from all of
this is, Does the light emitted from a flash of lightning cover the range(s)
the plant needs for optimal growth?  Lets not even talk about a plant that
needs partial shade compared to a plant that needs full sun  :).

2.  Does the moon effect the growth of plants?  I think it does.  There is
one plant that comes to mind, the Poinsettia.  If you want it to bloom, you
have to keep it in TOTAL DARKNESS for months.  I have been told that even a
tiny sliver of light that may come in from under a door  ,that is emitted
from a candle that is positioned across the other side of the room, could
cause the Poinsettia to not bloom.

3. One more comment.  I lived in Hawaii for four years.  It seemed to shower
at least once every day for approximately 8 months out of the year.  I can
only count a handful of times that it actually thundered.  And on those
occasions, seldom did I see the sky flash.

So I hope I didn't fall off base here...
"Dr. David A Starrett" wrote in message
< at>...
>  I have a couple more of those simple questions I get asked that turn out
>to be beyond my experiences.
>1)  Does lightning affect photoperiodism?  An obvious question since a
>flash of white light can interrupt the night period.  My guess is that it
>does interrupt that night.  It doesn't end up altering flowering as it
>doesn't happen night after night.  However, I am guessing that some places
>in the tropics where rain and T-storms are like clock-work that it is
>possible that lightning might have influence?
>2)  Can plants (are there any that can) use moonlight for photosynthesis?
>I am guessing it is possible as moonlight is reflected white light from
>sun.  Does anyone know of any examples?
>I have been collecting the questions of this sort that I receive intending
>to use them as projects, etc. for plant phys or botany classes.  Things
>like why do leaves stain sidewalks in the fall, why does 7-up, and such
>make cut flowers last longer, etc. (both questions I previously ran past
>plant-ed and got good answers to).  Does anyone have any other questions pf
>similar nature.  Questions that apply what is learned in a plant biology
>class to everyday questions arising OUTSIDE of the classroom.  Others I use
>are why do we cut flowers twice, how does water go 350 feet up a tree, etc.
>Any others?
>Dave Starrett
>*                                                           *
>*  Dr. David Starrett                                       *
>*  Biology Department, MS 6200                              *
>*  Southeast Missouri State University                      *
>*  Cape Girardeau, MO 63701                                 *
>*  Ph: (573) 651-2382                                       *
>*  Fax: (573) 986-6433                                      *
>*  email: dstarret at                         *
>*  WWW:  *
>*                                                           *

More information about the Plant-ed mailing list