In search of "musical" plants

Scott Mcphee hyphae at
Thu Oct 29 21:51:47 EST 1998

I was just reading yesterday about Sphagnum mosses in "Plants of the Pacific
Northwest Coast" by Pojar and Mackinnon and they said the following:

"If ones listens carefully while standing in an extensive patch of fruiting
sphagnum, one can hear the capsules imploding. The capsules inplode as
specialized cells called pseudostomates in the middle of the capsule
contract due to water loss."

Also, how about the "Singing Bush" that was in The 3 Amigos??!

Scott Mcphee

Jessie wrote in message <36379FFC.A58A63BD at>...
>Derek H. wrote:
>> Not really musical...but I am searching for any type of plant that
>> its own sound (or noise).
>> Thanks in advance.
>> Derek H.
>> derekh at
>Not sure this is actually what was happening, but...
>One of my favorite canoeing destinations is a large patch of
>Bullhead Lily (Nuphar variegatum) where I'll float for an
>hour or two reading, writing, and waiting for the great blue
>heron to show up at dusk.  Quite often in August, when the
>lilies are blooming, I've noticed a peculiar popping noise
>in this area -- not a fish surfacing, not a frog jumping in
>the water, not gas bubbles from the bottom -- just an
>occasional *pop*.  I've come to believe that it's the sound
>of the hard-shelled lily buds opening.  If anybody has
>another explanation, I'd love to hear it -- this has been
>bothering me for years.
>Otherwise, I've never heard a plant make a noise on its own,
>though I'm told some seed pods will also pop.  Lunaria pods
>(i.e., samaras) will make a rustling noise in an autumn
>breeze, and there's always wind in the trees and the
>creaking noise of limbs rubbing together.  If you listen
>very closely, you can hear insects chewing on wood.
>New York City
>j e s 2 2 at columbia dot edu
>note the spam Trap

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