Prosaic, Poetic, Psychedelic, and Paranormal Communications of Plants

Reference work entry


Plants have been conversation topics since the origins of human language. The idea that plants actively communicate, however, is quite recent and remains controversial. This chapter surveys evidence for plant communication, organizing it under four heuristic labels. Prosaic evidence comes from ecological sciences and shows that plants transmit expositive information to other organisms about environmental and individual conditions. Prosaic communication seems evolutionarily inevitable. Poetic evidence suggests that plants transmit evocative information to other organisms. Poetic communication arises partly from physiological processes but may necessitate the existence of mind in beings that receive such communication. Poetic evidence merges with psychedelic evidence, which suggests plants can communicate directly with human and, potentially, animal minds. Psychedelic communication implies the existence of a global consciousness, a concept pursued in fringe science. Paranormal evidence extends from the psychedelic and suggests that plants are fully sentient beings. Paranormal evidence is supported by pseudoscience, although some religious traditions also consider plants to be sentient beings. The chapter concludes that evidence for plant communication challenges dominant philosophies of thought and being: how to bound (or unbound) the human within nature; how to demarcate knowledge from nonsense; and how to consider nonhumans within moral frameworks.


Plant communication Ecology Science 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental StudiesUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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