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Nature & Environment

Scientists discover unique 'werewolf plant'

By T.K. Randall
April 2, 2015 · Comment icon 7 comments

The plant can somehow sense when there is a full moon. Image Credit: CC BY-2.0 Jason Bache
A plant that relies on the lunar cycle for survival is the only one of its kind anywhere in the world.
Discovered entirely by accident by Catarina Rydin and Kristina Bolinder of Stockholm University in Sweden, the new plant appears to secrete small globules of a sugary fluid to help it attract pollinating insects when there is a full moon.

Called Ephedra foeminea, the unique specimen is the only species known to do this, earning it the nickname 'werewolf plant'. It isn't currently understood how the plant is able to determine when there is a full moon but it could be linked to the moonlight's intensity.
"To the best of our knowledge, this is a first," said Rydin. "At night, the many pollination drops glitter like diamonds in the full moonlight, a spectacular sight also for the human eye."

While there are many examples of animals changing their routines in relation to the full moon, Ephedra is thought to be the only known plant to exhibit this behavior.

Source: New Scientist | Comments (7)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot 9 years ago
Plants do react on different wavelengths of light and 'behave' according to what kind of light they get. Flowering, growth and reproduction - depending of what kind of plant is in question - every stage of plants life has particular color of light connected to it and it is light color which triggers those stages. Full moon does have something mystical about it, totally different light getting to the Earth when it is full. At least that is how i see it, after having spent some years in my gardens eheh
Comment icon #2 Posted by Mabon 9 years ago
Nature is a sexy beast! Mabon.
Comment icon #3 Posted by back to earth 9 years ago
Ephedra ! That has been target as the source of the drink Soma and a 'nektar of the Gods', people discovered that LOOOOONG before 'scientists' - what a load of self congratulatory bull shoot ! ..... unfortunately it would turn the 'Gods' into rampaging testosterone, violent speed freaks (epinephrine - speed ) It certainly effects transformations in people! " "Men who ride swiftly, having good horses, call on me when surrounded in battle. I, the bountiful Indra, provoke strife. I whirl up the dust, my strength is overwhelming... . No godlike power can check me - I who am unassailable. When drau... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by back to earth 9 years ago
Ephedra ! That has been targeted as the source of the drink Soma and a 'nektar of the Gods', people discovered that LOOOOONG before 'scientists' - w ankers ! ..... unfortunately it would turn the 'Gods' into rampaging testosterone, violent speed freaks (ephedrine - speed ) It certainly effects transformations in people! " "Men who ride swiftly, having good horses, call on me when surrounded in battle. I, the bountiful Indra, provoke strife. I whirl up the dust, my strength is overwhelming... . No godlike power can check me - I who am unassailable. When draughts of Soma, when songs have made me... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by Delovely5150 9 years ago
Hmm.. it's interesting. I wish they took a video of the plant in action. That would have been a sight to see.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Foil Hat Ninja 9 years ago
Is there anything better than a frehly picked werewolf?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Joke-Train 9 years ago
Whoa nature, you got me feeling hot hot hot hot hot hot!


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