Plant Intelligence

This is a bitter gourd plant. When I was four or five years old, my granny had made a little garden in our balcony for me. She had planted these bitter gourd seeds. In a short period of time, there grew nice bitter gourds on this creeper. They were green and bitter in the beginning. When they become ripe, they become yellow on the outside and red inside. It’s been over forty-five since then. Now, my wife planted the seeds in our little garden outside the window – a common practice in Mumbai (we still call it Bombay). Within just few days, the seeds germinated. This picture, I took just today. I remember from my granny’s garden, the plant has these green threads which coil around the support (you can see one such coil in this picture). Here, one branch of the plant found another branch and coiled this thread around another branch. If there is a botanical term for these threads or coils, I would like to know what it is, but right now I don’t know what it is. Never mind! You can see a few such threads hanging in the air. This particular thread just found the support and coiled around it. What I am going to observe, and hopefully photograph, is how these coils behave daily.

In this picture, near the bottom left corner you can see an orange-red nylon string I have tied to the pot for the creeper to climb on. I was expecting one of the green threads to coil around the nylon string. One thread came very close yesterday, but today it has deviated in another direction. It probably hates the chemical composition of nylon, I am not sure. Let us observe how things turn out in a few days.

What I am checking is whether the plant finds its support intelligently. If it does, I am excited to learn about the intelligence of the plant life. I find it just like a neuron in the brain firing to form a synapse. Is it a visual demonstration of Intelligence in its most basic form?

Let’s wait and watch.

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