In a recent letter to the editor in the Boston Globe Jeffrey Collins, director at…
Darwin studied climbing plants –
English scientist Charles Darwin (1808-1882) was able to see a oneness in nature.
For many years that idea motivated both his research and his writing.
He likened climbing plants to animals according to James T. Costa’s book Darwin’s Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory.
Costa writes: “Seemingly animal-like in their powers of movement and sense perception, climbing plants too point to the fundamental unity of plants and animals.”
In my garden I planted a vine of hops along one wall of my garden shed. Each summer the vine reaches out to spread its leaves.
Darwin saw in hops an example of movement by the plant called twining.
Here is a photo of the hop vine in my garden. [below] It is the variety by Proven Winners called ‘Summer Shandy.”
Darwin pointed out that these plants have a certain power of movement.
He said, “It has often been vaguely asserted that plants are distinguished from animals by not having the power of movement. It should rather be said that plants acquire and display this power only when it is of some advantage to them.”