The article we linked to here is now unlocked so non-subscribers can access the full story, and the video currently posted on the New Yorker‘s website (click the image above to go to the source) is a good accompaniment:
Last week, in our World Changers Issue, Michael Pollan wrote about the growing field of plant neurobiology and the ways that plants seem to exhibit intelligence, intention, and even choice. Pollan explains that our perception of plant intelligence is hindered by our own sense of time, and that “time-lapse photography is perhaps the best tool we have to bridge the chasm between the time scale at which plants live and our own.”
In this video, Pollan considers time-lapse videos of bean plants searching for a metal pole to climb. Even before the plants reach the pole, they seem to “know” where it is and to try to wrap around it. One plant even seems to cede a pole to another plant that found it first. Some question whether these videos show “plant intelligence,” but the footage is compelling, regardless.