The Ents of the "Lord of the Rings" series and the flowers in "Alice in Wonderland" spoke with each other and people. In the real world, plants may have a much more subtle form of communication that borders on telepathy.
Some plants seem to use acoustic vibrations to communicate and gather information about their environment. For example, when physiologists at the University of Western Australia planted pepper seeds near basil, the seeds performed better than when planted alone. The beneficial effects continued even when sheets of plastic separated the seeds from the basil, thereby blocking any known form of communication, such as chemical or touch, as well as shared perception of the environment, such as light levels and moisture. The study was published in BMC Ecology.
VIDEO: Plants Can Hear You!
"Our results show that plants are able to positively influence growth of seeds by some, as yet, unknown mechanism," said study author Monica Gagliano of the University of Western Australia. "Bad neighbors, such as fennel, prevent chili seed germination in the same way. We believe that the answer may involve acoustic signals generated using nanomechanical oscillations from inside the cell which allow rapid communication between nearby plants."