In search of "strange" plant

Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Fri Oct 16 20:49:27 EST 1998

The suggestions about Mimosa pudica are on target...
if the vibrations are of sufficient magnitude, the
leaflets will fold.  Crank up the bass and volume
and those plants will respond!

As for the TV shows and Mr. Baker, well not all
"science" is good science. Except for seismonasty
in species like M. pudica, there are no articles
on sound perception or musical tastes of plants
in reputable science journals.  Some trade books
and even some educational texts and software have
given projects on musical appreciation by plants
more respectability that is deserved.  It is a good
example of "not everything you read in print is
to be believed."

If any of you are teachers out there on this
mail-list, PLEASE do not direct students toward
class projects or science fair studies on the
effect of music on plants.  There is so much more
interesting to test...and much of it really works!
David Hershey has a good book on Plant Biology
Science Projects (J Wiley) contains much
good advice on this topic.


At 8:38 AM -0400 10/15/98, Jeremy Lee iment
>involving plants and music.  The basis of the experiment was to have several
>groups of the same plant (forget which one, but I don't think it mattered
>to the
>experiment) and play different types of music to each.  Other than the music,
>each plant group had identical soil, water, light, and fertilizer.
>As I recall, the plant group that was played Rock 'N Roll did the best.  The
>group that had no music at all (the control group) did worst.  I can't
>if Jazz beat Classical....
>Anyway, I don't think that this is exactly what you're looking for (you
>want an
>"immediate" plant reaction, not "long-term", right?), but it does show plants
>are sensative to sound vibrations.
>Derek H. wrote:
>> 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

Ross Koning                 | koning at
Biology Department          |
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479

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