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Plants Give Cues To Offspring

As many of you Tgiving types get ready to visit your own roots...

Most gardeners are hip to the fact that plants do best in their "native" environment — that is, if a plant naturally grows in a bog, we keep its feet wet; if it likes windy cliffs and fast-draining soil, we put it in a rock garden.

A just-released report in Science Daily takes a gardener's common sense a step further. It seems parent plants teach their children well, according to evolutionary biologist Laura Galloway, who found that "maternal plants give cues to their offspring that help them adapt to their environmental conditions".

Here's my favorite part:

Historically maternal effects have been viewed as a complicating factor, an inconvenience, explains Galloway. But we have found that they can dramatically influence the performance of an individual.

My own Ever-Ready Bunny of a mother is going to be 92 this spring. A dramatic influence? Ever more, every day...