Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or Viridiplantae in Latin. They generally obtain most of their energy from sunlight via photosynthesis using chlorophyll contained in chloroplasts, which gives them their green color.
- Plants and plant-eaters co-evolved. And plants aren't the passive partners in the chain of terrestrial life. Hence today's Pop Ecology movement is quite wrong in believing that plants are happy to fill their role as fodder for herbivores in a harmonious and perfectly balanced ecosystem. A birch tree doesn't feel cosmic fulfillment when a moose munches its leaves; the tree species, in fact, evolves to fight the moose, to keep the animal's munching lips away from vulnerable young leaves and twigs. In the final analysis, the merciless hand of natural selection will favor the birch genes that make the tree less and less palatable to the moose in generation after generation. No plant species could survive for long by offering itself as unprotected fodder.
- Robert T. Bakker, The Dinosaur Heresies: A Revolutionary View of Dinosaurs (1986), Longman Scientific & Technical, p. 179
- "Or he might say: 'Whereas some honorable recluses and brahmins, while living on food offered by the faithful, continuously cause damage to seed and plant life — to plants propagated from roots, stems, joints, buddings, and seeds — the recluse Gotama abstains from damaging seed and plant life.'
- A woodland in full color is awesome as a forest fire, in magnitude at least, but a single tree is like a dancing tongue of flame to warm the heart.
- Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons (1964).
- The shad-bush, white with flowers,
Brightened the glens; the new leaved butternut
And quivering poplar to the roving breeze
Gave a balsamic fragrance.
- William Cullen Bryant, The Old Man's Counsel, line 28; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 812.
- The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.
- Jean Giraudoux, The Enchanted (1933).
- I think that I shall never see/ A poem lovely as a tree.
- Joyce Kilmer, Trees and Other Poems (1914).
- In addition to such wholly separable types of causation, science has still to deal with the interaction of vitalistic and mechanistic causes. It is in the discussion of influences interacting between complex and simple energy units that the greatest confusions and conflicts of scientific analysis arise. For instance, let us suppose that science is called upon to describe the plant growing in a field. It can be shown definitely that the soil is delivering a continuous series of chemical stimuli to the plant. It is equally ascertainable that the plant reacts to these stimuli with a series of reactions peculiar to its own inherent nature. Some of these plant responses will result in the delivery of counter stimuli to the soil and some will not. Those influences which are exercises by the plant over the soil will, for the most part, alter the soil in ways determined by the chemical power of the plant. In so far, therefore, as soil and plant interchange influences, it may fairly be said that the more complex units of energy composing the plant will dominate the interplay of causal forces.
But, as we have noted, there will be many changes in the plant, as a result of reactions to soil stimuli, which will not direct any influence back toward the earth. Where these plant changes directed by the soil to its own ultimate benefit, then we might clearly assume that the simpler form of energy was in causal control of the more complex energy unit. That is to say if the soil were able to use the more complex energy of the plant to effect its own enlargement, simply by stimulating the plant to act according to the plant’s own principles of action, we might conclude that, after all, the balance of control lay with the simpler unit of energy. This would amount to the philosophical admission that mechanistic causation holds the balance of power. But such does not appear to be the case. Though stimulated to action by the soil, the plant reacts with its own energy according to its own innate principles of action, and with reaction tendencies designed for its own ultimate benefit. With innate power to develop spontaneously throughout its own life cycle, with a balance of power of interaction capable of changing the soil more radically than the soil can change it, and, finally, with a structure designed in such a way as always to react for its own benefit when stimulated to action by the soil, we are forced to conclude that the plant is a more potent generator of effective causes than the soil.
- The gadding vine.
- John Milton, Lycidas (1637), line 40.
- There is that in the glance of a flower which may at times control the greatest of creation's braggart lords.
- John Muir, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (1916).
- Plants will react quite sharply to an abortion. The fetus, however, will also react to the death of an animal in the family, and will be acquainted with the unconscious psychic relationships within the family long before it reaches the sixth month. The plants in a house are also quite aware of the growing fetus; the plants will also pick up the fact that a member of the family is ill, often in advance of physical symptoms. They are that sensitive to the consciousness within cellular structure. Plants will also know whether a fetus is male or female.
- Jane Roberts, The Seth Material. (1970), p. 318
- A Sensitive Plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light,
And clothed them beneath the kisses of night.
- For the Sensitive Plant has no bright flower;
Radiance and odour are not its dower;
It loves, even like Love, its deep heart is full,
It desires what it has not, the beautiful.
- Pun-provoking thyme.
- William Shenstone, The Schoolmistress (1737-48), Stanza 11.
- Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.
- Rabindranath Tagore, Fireflies (1928).
- Some to the holly hedge
Nestling repair; and to the thicket some;
Some to the rude protection of the thorn.
- James Thomson, The Seasons, Spring (1728), line 634.
- One morning just after sunrise: The first flower ever to appear on the planet opens up to receive the rays of the sun. Prior to this momentous event that heralds an evolutionary transformation in the life of plants, the planet had already been covered in vegetation for millions of years... Much later, those delicate and fragrant beings we call flowers would come to play an essential part in the evolution of consciousness of another species. Humans would increasingly be drawn to and fascinated by them. As the consciousness of human beings developed, flowers were most likely the first thing they came to value that had no utilitarian purpose for them, that is to say, was not linked in some way to survival. They provided inspiration to countless artists, poets, and mystics...
- Using the word enlightenment in a wider sense than the conventionally accepted one, we could look upon flowers as the enlightenment of plants... they are, of course, temporary manifestations of the underlying one Life, one Consciousness. Their special significance and the reason why humans feel such fascination for and affinity with them can be attributed to their ethereal quality.
- Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk?
- Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982).
- To me the meanest flower that blows can give/ Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
- William Wordsworth, Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood (1803).