In search of "strange" plant

E Charles Nelson tippitiwitchet at
Fri Oct 16 03:14:40 EST 1998

The message <703p2l$7je$1 at>
  from  "Derek H." <derekh at> contains these words: 

> I am searching for any type of plant that is sensitive to sound waves. I am
> doing science experiments to demonstrate sound vibrations.

> I don't know if such a plant exists...I am hoping it does.

> The ideal plant would be one that would pick up sensitive sounds (much like
> a microphone), and vibrate the sounds with a delayed reaction.

> Any and all help/comments are greatly appreciated.

> Thanks
> Derek H.
> derekh at

The most probable candidates for plants sensitive to sound waves are 
those adapted to buzz-pollination. According to Proctor, Yeo and Lack 
(The natural history of pollination), these include Dodecatheon 
(American shooting star), Solanum dulcamara, borage (Borago 
officinalis), and members of the Ericaceae. There are other genera 
too. Worth investigation!

I doubt that Dionaea will respond to sound waves, at least as far as 
shutting its leaf-trap.

Dr E. Charles Nelson
Tippitiwitchet Cottage, Hall Road, OUTWELL, Wisbech PE14 8PE, Cambs., UK
tel: 01945 773057. fax: 01945 774077. international code 00 44 +
e-mail: tippitiwitchet at

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