Stalking Plants by Scent

A vine that feeds on other plants finds its victims by their smell.

By Carolyn Gramling, 00:00 AM September 29, 2006

Dodder is a wiry, orange vine that steals water and nutrients from other plants. Scientists have now found that this vine chooses its victim by smell, growing its shoots in the direction of a plant's natural perfume.

A seedling of a vine known as dodder attaches to a tomato plant.

A seedling of a vine known as dodder attaches to a tomato plant.

Photo by Justin Runyon (courtesy of De Moraes and Mescher Labs)

When a dodder seed sprouts, it doesn't grow roots to seek its own food. Instead, it grows a shoot that reaches out to other plants, tapping them for food...

Source URL: https://student.societyforscience.org/article/stalking-plants-scent