Herbs

Catharanthus roseus
Catharanthus roseus

Periwinkle- Catharanthus roseus

Earlier it was called Vinca rosea. It is native plant of Madagascar but, also grown in other parts of the world as ornamental plant and for medicinal purposes. It is used in Indian and Chinese medicine system for curing diabetes, malaria etc. The cancer drug vinblastine is extracted from this plant.

Red Amaranth – Amaranthus cruentus

It is native plant of Central and South America.
The plant is grown as ornamentals and as staple food because seeds, flowers and leaves of the plant are edible. It is also consumed as green vegetables in Asian countries. It is similar to the beet in terms of the nutrients as it is rich in carotene, protein, Vitamin C etc. The plant is also used to extract red dyes.

Hope you liked the post. This is probably the last post of year 2020.

Plants do feel and smell!!

Today I am with amazing findings of Daniel Chamovitz, who is a director of Manna Center for Plant Biosciences, Tel Aviv University. He discovered that plants do feel and smell on the basis of his experimental findings and observations.

Earlier, he found a group of genes which controlled the response and growth of plant in varying sunlight and they seemed to be unique to plants.

His later studies concluded that the same genes are a part of human genome also and were involved in regulating sunlight dependent 24 hours circadian clock of human beings. Besides this, they were involved in cell division, growth of neurons (because of which we are able to sense our environment and respond accordingly) and maintenance of immune system. Thus indicating genetic similarity between the plants and animals.

The animals are mobile i.e. they could move to any place for their safety and as per their needs. In contrast, plants are immobile i.e. they cannot move so, they need to sense the changing environment to survive in it. So, they do have complex and sensitive mechanism for this purpose.

Sense of Smell

When we talk about smell we specifically refer to some volatile chemical compounds present in the air to which we respond.

Some example supporting the smelling sensation of plants are:

When unripe fruits are kept with the ripe fruits the aroma produced by ripe fruit in air in perceived by unripe fruit and so, it gets signals and begins to ripe. The ripe fruits naturally releases ethylene gas which helps in ripening of fruits.

The dodder plant do not perform photosynthesis rather it feeds on host plants. It chooses its host, the neighbouring plants by smelling and prefers the hosts which smell good and are tastier!! Between tomato and wheat, it chooses tomato.

Memory of Plants

Plants do have memory but, it is for short duration only e.g. the case of insectivorous Venus Fly Trap plants which close only after the bug has touched two of hairs of the plants. This implies that it remembers when its hairs were first touched. But, this information lasts for only 20 seconds.

The plants that grow in stressful conditions give rise to the young plants who are more resistant to the condition.

Communication in Plants

It is proven that the plants give certain signals to the plants e.g. when a plant is undergoing insect or pathogen attack, they release certain chemical to alert the other plants for danger and they start synthesizing chemicals to save themselves.

It has been found out that the plants in dry and drought conditions communicate to the other plants through roots to prepare them.

Research is still being performed on Darwin’s root-brain hypothesis, which suggests that the tip of the root act as a brain in the plants.

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