The Secret Life of Plants  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



The Private Life of Plants

The Secret Life of Plants (1973) is a book by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. The book, which is generally regarded as a pseudoscientific work, discusses the alleged unusual phenomena regarding plants such as plant sentience, as well as alternative philosophy and alternative farming methods.



Christopher Bird (May 11, 1928 - May 2, 1996) was a best-selling author, specialising in unconventional beliefs. Christopher Bird was also author of the book The Divining Hand: The 500-Year-Old Mystery of Dowsing. Peter Tompkins (April 19, 1919 in Athens, Georgia - January 23, 2007), father of author Ptolemy Tompkins, worked as a journalist, as well as an US military intelligence officer in Italy.


The book includes summaries of the life and work of amongst many others, 18th century scientists Jagdish Chandra Bose and George Washington Carver as well as Corentin Louis Kervran. The book also discusses alternative philosophy and practice on soil and soil health, as well as on alternative farming methods. Such topics as auras, psychophysics, orgone energy, radionics, kirlian photography, magnetotropism, bio-electrics and dowsing are also discussed. One of the book's claims is that plants may be sentient despite their lack of a nervous system and a brain.

The book includes unscientific experiments on plant stimuli, as through a polygraph, a method which was pioneered by Cleve Backster. The book is regarded as pseudoscientific by skeptics and many scientists.


The book was the basis for the 1979 documentary of the same name directed by Walon Green and featuring a soundtrack by Stevie Wonder, later released as Journey through the Secret Life of Plants. The film made heavy use of time-lapse photography (where plants are seen growing in a few seconds, creepers reaching out to other plants and tugging on them, mushrooms and flowers popping open, etc.).

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Secret Life of Plants" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools