How many times have you stopped to admire the Italian plants?
A forest, a park or even a small garden that seemed to make you forget the existence of technology and all human inventions. Observing plants carefully you may notice that they are actually much more evolved than you might think. In fact, plant organisms, even without being gifted with word or movement, are really “intelligent”!
Just think: If these organisms were not highly-suited to the environment, they would certainly have disappeared, while today it is still possible to observe many plant species that survive without any problems.
The Italian flora is certainly one of the most admired: from precious olive trees, secular oaks, to citrus fruits the beautiful countryside is rich in vegetation and there are many people who enjoy gardening activities. Don’t take what I say in the wrong way: even the most experienced gardeners do not know everything about the plant world, some curiosities about vegetation may amaze you ! Here’s what they are:
1. They communicate among themselves
Let me explain: During the course of evolution plants have developed very efficient communication mechanisms. They can find out if, for example, parasites, pathogenic organisms in general are present nearby. All this is possible because they produce substances, called hormones, which are different for each situation. In this way other nearby plant organisms can “hear” the presence of hormones and understand what kind of condition they correspond to.
2. Carnivorous plants
You will like this one: not everyone knows that there are plants that feed on insects: they have refined complex trapping mechanisms to attract the prey and to digest them. One of the classic examples is the Dionaea Muscipula, also known as “Venus flycatcher“: in this particular specimen there is a snap trap. As soon as the insect approaches, attracted by sugary substances produced by the plant, the trap closes and the poor animal is captured.
3. They save our lives
Plant organisms actually do much more than we imagine: one example are the mangroves. Typical vegetation of tropical climates, they have roots immersed in water which retain the soil. In some tsunami-threatened places, in case the unlucky event should occur, they are able to stem the force of the water and so save many lives.
4. They purify the air
It’s a good idea to keep up gardening: any green space, even small, can become a small Italian flora paradise. In fact, plants through photosynthesis absorb carbon dioxide from the environment, making the air more breathable and pure. Isn’t it exciting?
5. They move
Although their movements are not as obvious as those of animals, even vegetation moves. How? You can understand it by a simple example … If you look at most of the plants at noon, you will notice that the leaves appear to be completely depleted. Those of you who are good gardeners know that it is actually just a defense mechanism from excessive solar radiation. A bit like when we use sun cream on the beach, they also need to protect themselves from the sun. But that’s not all … the movements don’t only concern the leaves but also the stem: have you noticed that if a tree is in the shade it will bend to try and catch the sunlight? The phenomenon is called “escape from the shade” and is also typical of the Sunflower.
Now that you know these 5 curiosities about plants, I suggest you go to a park or little wood to take a better look: you can see and discover lots of other wonderful things.