What Do Plants Think About? Publication date : October 26, 2016
Jacques Tassin carries out research in plant ecology at the CIRAD (International Centre for Agricultural Research for Development). He has written several books and over a hundred scientific articles.
Immobile, passive, insensitive, plants are paradoxical beings: essential to our survival, from salad to carpentry, but also strangely resonant with many ancestral fears. From the attachment many people have to their houseplants to the veritable taboo that has grown up around the Amazon rain forest, the plant kingdom is both materially and symbolically indispensable to us.
Botany has recently made decisive advances in understanding what plants perceive of the world around them, of others of their own species and of their predators. Unlike animals, which are focused on themselves, plants are all about exteriority.
Despite being rooted in place, not only are plants able to move, on a time frame that is not like ours, but they are sensitive to both light and touch. Plants talk to each other, and have exchanges with the entire animal kingdom for the sake of pollination. Plants are not individuals, but instead are extended by others...
This book invites us to discover the inner world of plants. It is a radically different world from our own, but an extraordinarily precious one: without the miracle of photosynthesis to which plants hold the secret, creating living matter from air, water and light, all animal life — including human life — would be impossible.