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back to article Self-planting plant discovered in Brazil

Those Register readers who possess a garden yet are not fond of spending time on their knees clutching a trowel – take heart! Science has found a possible answer to your needs with the discovery of a type of plant which does not merely release its seeds, but actually bends down and buries them in the soil for you. The quite …

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Anonymous Coward

Next up they'll be walking around

and flying about in asteroids and the like before arriving on some unsuspecting planet full of people they can gobble up

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surely?

This is not new. Peanuts do that for example (thats why they are called groundnuts). They flower and then bury the seed underground...

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Strawberry plants

Have done one better.

They clone themselves by growing long "whiskers" which bend under their own weight until they touch the ground whereupon they sprout roots and that spot becomes the center of a new plant.

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Clones

Lots of plants spread themselves by extending tendrils or roots which then develop into another plant. Some even detach the clone and let it float away down a river. If there isn't a plant which grows clonelets with barbs to hook onto a passing animal's hair, I'll be very surprised.

But these offspring are all clones, and if that was the only form of reproduction, the parasites would catch up and wipe out the species. Plants, like animals, need sexual reproduction to shuffle their genes and keep ahead of the parasites.

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Peanuts

I think peanuts do this, don't they?

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Yes, ...

Peanuts do. That was my first thought. In fact the latin mame for the peanut is Arachis hypogaea, hypogaea means "under the earth".

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Coat

Bending down.

"However rather than kissing a ring, the flexible S genuflexa..."

Well obviously. If it did that it would have been called S Rimmerii.....

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Trollface

Close, but no cigar...

genu - knee

flect - bend

To bend your knee, or kneel. (As when greeting nobility.)

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Or doing The Vatican Rag. #oldfogy

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I'll stick with the Madagasca Jewel I have sat next to my desk at work. It fires its (poisonous) seeds about five metres across the office.

Hasn't killed anybody though. (Yet.)

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Anonymous Coward

I want one

I can think of several desks I could put it on

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Pint

Other...

...plants do this also. The one that comes to mind is the peanut.

One of my favorites for seed distribution strategy is the Bird of Paradise. As they dry, the seed pods build up torque, which is suddenly released with a loud popping sound, flinging the seeds up to 10 meters.

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Himalayan Balsam

Whilst being an invasive pset species, does have very satisfying seed pods, a gentle tap or squeeze of which will cause them to explosively uncoil like a spring and fling their seeds quite some distance.

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Coat

I for one welcome...

our botano-genuflectory overlords.

The one with the Yates Garden Guide, thanks.

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Peanut

Is this not the same behaviour as the common-or-garden peanut, otherwise known as the _groundnut_ ?

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Stop

Next up

they'll be coming over here, taking our jobs and marrying or women!

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I. for one

welcome our new Brazilian geocarpal overlords

.... of course what we really want is weeds that pull themselves up

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Alert

Triffic!

Does this plant have little stems each side of the main bole, and a long whippy tendril thing at the top?

And does it rattle to itself at night??

Ooeerrr!

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

What about spider plants, they constantly start sprouting new shoots that provide roots, all they needs is to touch down on soil rather than in mid-air like we keep them in pots.

Most fruit trees drop the fruit with the seed, the fruit rots and kick starts the seedlings gorwing.

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Wrong reason

That's not the why of fruit!

The fruit is intended to tempt an animal to eat it, seeds and all. The seed survives its trip through the animal's digestive system, and is deposited elsewhere, along with a nice little lump of manure. Plants particularly appreciate omnivores ... the manure of an omnivore will be richer in nitrogen.

Tomato seeds survive not just the human digestive tract but the metropolitan sewerage system, and cause serious problems when they arrive and germinate in the filter beds.

I've always wondered what sort of animal it is that eats a mango complete with the massive pip. Water buffalo?

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Happy

Where's

the lawn that mows itself?

Or grass that grows 2.5 cm and then stops?

Come on Monsanto...

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Low maintenance grass is available

See http://nomowgrass.com/

I've not tried it, but it looks like fun.

GJC

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Anonymous Coward

... Low maintenance grass is available

smokes itself, does it?

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Tomatos do this, too.

As do peas, beans, and most other legumes.

This is considered news in botanical science? The mind boggles ...

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Pint

good life

When the man spent half his life getting fron the Baltic to the beach, finding a species is icing on the cake.

Good for him.

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Anonymous Coward

'first reported geocarpic species *of this family*'

(from the actual paper <http://www.pensoft.net/inc/journals/download.php?fileId=2783&fileTable=J_GALLEYS>, my emphasis, purdy pikchas on page 51).

Still, interesting article.

Suggest to everyone, when walking down the street or out anywhere, to look at corners and tucked-away nooks and find the very little things that grow there, whole worlds of beauty in themselves (blake said it right), lost in oversight and the rush to the office, shops, school.

(and @Vladimir Plouzhnikov et al, this is called runnering; it doesn't involve the seeds but baby plants; cloning I suppose)

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Devil

Need this

If it takes out the fishmint that we can't get rid of without nuclear weaponry, I'm all for it. And if it gets out of hand, I'll get honey badgers. (What could possibly go wrong then?)

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Anonymous Coward

Feed me Seymour!

All you pod people line up over here.....

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Terribly fascinating and all,

yet check out the seedpod of the 'Devil's Claw' plant to marvel at its 'intelligent design'.

Do an image seach. What elegance of form and function! This seed casing wraps itself completely around a passing animal's leg and holds on for dear life...operating on the same principle as the parking lots where exits are marked with 'severe tire damage' signs - the old reverse-barb trick!

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