Ask a Question forum: some plants predict when it's going to rain?

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Name: Carole
Lake Macquarie, Australia
Butterflies Bookworm Region: Australia Birds Bee Lover Dragonflies
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carolem
Mar 7, 2018 4:45 AM CST
I've been trying to find information related to the science behind what triggers some plants, like this one:


to almost be markers for a rain event?

Can anyone here help out?

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.

Vincent Van Gough
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 7, 2018 10:03 AM CST
I use to know a gal that allways knew when it was going to rain. Just by looking at the plants and trees.
She'd say : It's going to rain. I'd say how do you know ? She'd say : Look at all the plants and trees, the leaves are all turned upside down to catch the water.
She was never wrong.
Dog, if I ever could see how she could tell.

Ttfn
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Mar 8, 2018 6:53 AM CST
Impending storms bring a change in winds, 24 hours before we see the first storm cloud. They are called updrafts. That blows the maple trees' leaves upward revealing their silver undersides.
I notice, too, some farmers often comment they can smell rain in the air.
Then...there's my Mother's toe - it hurts a day or so ahead of a storm. When that happens, I know to batten down the hatches.
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Mar 8, 2018 6:58 AM CST
Did you know Spiderwort stamens will turn from purple to pink when exposed to low levels of radiation?
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
Mar 8, 2018 10:40 AM CST
Haven't seen any, Carole.

Not the same as indicator plants.

Interesting comments above; especially personnel observations.

There's also the thing about cooling and windiness, at ground level, just before what can turn out to be rainfall.

How does orange jasmine indicate pending rainfall?
I can see that with a fragrant plant like that, perhaps the prior windiness would disperse the fragrance.
[Last edited by SunnyBorders - Mar 8, 2018 10:41 AM (+)]
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Name: Carole
Lake Macquarie, Australia
Butterflies Bookworm Region: Australia Birds Bee Lover Dragonflies
Garden Photography Salvias Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers Native Plants and Wildflowers Annuals
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carolem
Mar 8, 2018 2:44 PM CST
SunnyBorders said:Haven't seen any, Carole.

How does orange jasmine indicate pending rainfall?


Orange Jasmine displays this mass-flowering ahead of good rains coming in. Another plant that would flower similarly in my garden is Dietes.

Not to say they don't flower at other times; but after a dry-spell perhaps; then a heavy-flush of flowers ...rain!

Am I really observing something that is just a co-incidence? I'm sure I've heard/read about it over the years somewhere.

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.

Vincent Van Gough
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
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Leftwood
Mar 8, 2018 3:32 PM CST
When I first read the opening statement, I thought: there are certain plants do change the stature of certain plant parts according to humidity. This though, registers present humidity only, is a physical action and is in no way psychic. It just is.

But now I see that is obviously not what you're talking about. In the case of the jasmine putting on a big floral display as a prediction, I don't see how this could be true. The plant would have to "know" weeks in advance of impending rain, because it takes that long for the initiation of the flowers (from single cells) to become flowers. It would be far more logical to trace such a mass flowering back to a previous plentiful rainfall that initiated the mass bloom.
Name: Carole
Lake Macquarie, Australia
Butterflies Bookworm Region: Australia Birds Bee Lover Dragonflies
Garden Photography Salvias Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers Native Plants and Wildflowers Annuals
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carolem
Mar 8, 2018 3:36 PM CST
@Leftwood, thanks Rick; appreciate your explanation/response.

Least now I can conclude it is simply co-incidental, and go on thinking about other things instead Smiling
If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.

Vincent Van Gough
Name: Carole
Lake Macquarie, Australia
Butterflies Bookworm Region: Australia Birds Bee Lover Dragonflies
Garden Photography Salvias Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers Native Plants and Wildflowers Annuals
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carolem
Mar 8, 2018 3:44 PM CST
just to round-up; have located an article with a mention along the lines of this topic.

I will leave the whole article here, rather than take it out of context; but para' seven reads more about Mock Orange/Orange Jasmine/Jessamine, in particular.

http://www.abc.net.au/gardenin...

It kind of sums up with an explanation.

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.

Vincent Van Gough
[Last edited by carolem - Mar 8, 2018 5:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
Mar 8, 2018 3:48 PM CST
As you say, Carole, you need scientific evidence that the phenomenon actually does occur, that before an explanation of how it might occur.

Re some questions arising from observations made by gardeners, there seems to sometimes be no academic/scientific research to suggest generalizing may be possible. What research there is may be strictly botanical (includes being based on natural, not horticultural "environments").

Your comment Carole, concerning reading about things in the past but not being able to get back to the original reference: I can really identify with that!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 8, 2018 4:31 PM CST
Eliazar, Tabitha Trianda, and Sandra A. Aziz. "Guano and Rice-Hull Ash Application for Flowering Induction on Orange Jessamine (Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack)." Journal of Tropical Crop Science 2.3 (2015).

"Rainfall during the course of the experiment might play a role in the absorption of nutrients, as high rainfall usually coincides with profuse flowering in orange jessamine. Plants treated with 0.4 kg guano + 3.0 kg rice-hull ash per plant had more leaves at 12 WAT, possibly due to high rainfall during that period. When the rainfall was low at 16 WAT the number of leaves per plant was also decreased (Figure 2). Lack of water might disturb water movement within the plant, and can lead to senescence, resulting in decreased number of leaves."

http://www.j-tropical-crops.co...
Name: Carole
Lake Macquarie, Australia
Butterflies Bookworm Region: Australia Birds Bee Lover Dragonflies
Garden Photography Salvias Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers Native Plants and Wildflowers Annuals
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carolem
Mar 8, 2018 4:52 PM CST
@SunnyBorders hi Charlie Smiling

thanks for yours; I wonder did you miss the post I left before yours with this link?

http://www.abc.net.au/gardenin...



If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.

Vincent Van Gough
Name: Carole
Lake Macquarie, Australia
Butterflies Bookworm Region: Australia Birds Bee Lover Dragonflies
Garden Photography Salvias Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers Native Plants and Wildflowers Annuals
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carolem
Mar 8, 2018 4:57 PM CST
sooby said:

...as high rainfall usually coincides with profuse flowering in orange jessamine. http://www.j-tropical-crops.co...


appreciated your contribution too Sue; this was the part that helped back up my experience with this native shrub.

An interesting article in the main; thanks again.
If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.

Vincent Van Gough
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
Mar 8, 2018 5:40 PM CST
Didn't, Carole, but thanks, interested to read that article.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Leftwood
Mar 8, 2018 6:44 PM CST
carolem said:I will leave the whole article here, rather than take it out of context; but para' seven reads more about Mock Orange/Orange Jasmine/Jessamine, in particular.

http://www.abc.net.au/gardenin...


Well, that "fact" sheet says exactly what you reported, carole. If I don't keep an open mind, I would never keep learning. Maybe he explained it in the actual TV episode? But presently, I would be inclined to say it is a wives' tale. These gardening guru TV hosts tend to stretch truths a bit, Jerry Baker, Allen Smith, etc., up here in Minnesota (USA) it is Rebecca Koll and Bobby Jennson. It's not that they are bad (usually), just sometimes not complete, or just misleading (maybe because they were misled).

Kinda like Wikipedia. Everyone thinks it's so great, but here is a challenge: look somethings up in wikipedia that you already know a lot about. Read it with a skeptical eye, and when you find something that doesn't seem quite right, look up the reference given (if there is one!). I will lay odds that the original reference did NOT say what the wikipedia author claimed.
So was that wikipedia author purposely untruthful? I doubt it. Just careless in writing. Technical writing (which wikipedia should be) is learned skill.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 8, 2018 7:42 PM CST
I'm, confused ???
Why ask a question ???
If !!! You have, allready, assumed ! Your answer ??? Shrug!
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Carole
Lake Macquarie, Australia
Butterflies Bookworm Region: Australia Birds Bee Lover Dragonflies
Garden Photography Salvias Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers Native Plants and Wildflowers Annuals
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carolem
Mar 8, 2018 10:59 PM CST
@Philipwonel Phillip I'd asked the question because I hadn't been able to find any references to this phenomena shall I vaguely label it by typing in something about plants as weather indicators.

It was just several hours ago today now, that I typed in especially about mock orange/orange jessamine, and up came the Australian article I last posted here.

In defence of the particular gardening tv presenter; Jeremy Coleby has extensive qualifications and I've extracted this introduction from his website https://jerry-coleby-williams....

[Initially trained with the Royal Horticultural Society, and in management with Brunel University, some years later he emerged from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the world's foremost botanic garden, qualified in curation, horticultural estate management, soft landscape design, horticultural and botanical sciences.]

@Leftwood Rick, and while I respect your opinion too, I would never label this particular presenter as 'stretching the truth'.

Like you I love that we can learn something new most days.

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.

Vincent Van Gough
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 9, 2018 8:59 AM CST
Carole Hi 😀
I hope my last reply, wasn't taken as an insult.

I'm interested in what does your jasmine do, that tells you it going to rain. Does it make this change every time before a rain. Like, 🤔??? The day it's going to rain, or the day before it's going to rain.

Thanks 😎😎😎
I hope my question is clear.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
Mar 9, 2018 11:00 AM CST
Great debate. Interesting content.

In a way the initial "science behind" (as least the way I took it) has perhaps still not been answered. The Elazar & Aziz (2015) article does include the matter in the Discussion part of the paper. Presumably that puts the observation on a scientific basis but their research itself does not investigate the relationship between pending rainfall and flowering.

I do also get the confusion about "markers for a rain event"; namely, coming within a day or two (likely more useful to gardeners) as against after a longer period of time.
Name: Carole
Lake Macquarie, Australia
Butterflies Bookworm Region: Australia Birds Bee Lover Dragonflies
Garden Photography Salvias Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers Native Plants and Wildflowers Annuals
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carolem
Mar 9, 2018 3:05 PM CST
Philipwonel said:Carole Hi 😀
I hope my last reply, wasn't taken as an insult.

I'm interested in what does your jasmine do, that tells you it going to rain. Does it make this change every time before a rain. Like, 🤔??? The day it's going to rain, or the day before it's going to rain.

Thanks 😎😎😎
I hope my question is clear.


Philip, not at all; it's all healthy debate and Q & A helps each side to clarify perspectives. Sometimes, the written word can be misinterpreted, as opposed to us having an interesting chat face to face. However, can't knock our cyberspace chats; I love them, and the things I pick up, new to me, along the way!

Because weather forecasters don't even get it right all the time, you become a little non-chalant about actively watching for every flower kind of thing on the murrayas. They obviously spot-flower nicely at various times, however they are especially showy when they start flushing heavily, and often this has co-incided with the advent of heavy rains perhaps within maybe three to four days? There has perhaps also been intermittent showers leading up to this already; then a gap of days (is that all of the rain we're getting?) --- and then the longer, heavy downpour event.

Because this past summer was particularly dry, and very hot ---- to get a scattering of rain, and then notice the murrayas flushing heavily seemed hopeful. I'd done a morning walk around the block and I could smell the scent of murrayas in a couple of front gardens doing the same. That's what kind of peaked my interest to find out more.

Thanks for your contribution; I've enjoyed it.





If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.

Vincent Van Gough

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