Some plants all over the world have their own unique ways of responding to attacks, pollination, damages such as crying out for help, faking an illness or even releasing SOS signal. Here are six kinds of typical plants that act like people you may have never known before.
The fly orchid, also known as Ophrys insectifera, can enhance its chances of pollination by tricking male flies into mating with it. This plant, whose flowers looks like an insect, releases a scent to mimic the pheromones of female flies. When the hapless male attempts to mate with the flower, it pollinates the orchid.
The fly orchid’s flowers look like insects
Unlike some plants which avoid pollen from other species by attracting special pollinators such as birds, ants and insects, tobacco plants of the Solanaceae family feature a self-incompatibility system allowing them to reject pollen of close relatives.
The process helps tobacco plants not produce weaker inbred plants
Moth larvae often hatches on the elephant's ear Caladium steudneriifolium and eats their way through its leaves. Therefore, this plant fakes illness to prevent the trouble by displaying a white variegation pattern on its leaves that looks like recent larval damage. Preferring to exploit a healthy plant, these caterpillars lay their eggs elsewhere.
The leaf on the left shows real predation while the one on the right has been variegated by the plant to mimic it
The sagebrush Artemisia tridentate will release a chemical SOS that alerts neighbors to danger when their leaves are clipped and damaged by insects. As a result, nearby tobacco plants pick up the warning and produce their own chemicals to avoid insect attacks.
An image of the sagebrush Artemisia tridentate
An effective way the lima bean responds to attacks is calling in their bodyguards. This plant will produce a blend of chemicals that attract predatory mites to feed on the unwelcome spiders of the family Tetranychidae after it is invaded by these arthropods.
The lima bean plant is ironically said to cry out for asking help
The Mimosa pudica, also known as touch-me-not plant, shies away from any physical interaction, a gentle touch even makes its narrow fern-like leaves instantly fold together, causing the whole leaf stalk to droop.
The Mimosa pudica often returns to normal after about half an hour