We tend to think of plants as being essentially stationary – incapable of movement other than that generated by the wind. But all plants do move as they grow and respond to aspects of their environment.
This film looks at a variety of plants in action. Some movements, like that of Mimosa, the sensitive plant, or that of the Venus flytrap are quite conspicuous.
Much plant activity, however, takes place too slowly for direct human perception – it can be revealed only by time-lapse cinematography.
Using this technique, the film looks at a rich selection of movements. Clover and daffodil plants respond to the passage of the sun. An albizzia tree, and an oxalis plant, fold their leaves gracefully as night begins.
Some of the most striking plant activity occurs during growth. A young fern frond uncoils, a climbing hibbertia spirals upwards. Days or weeks of development are condensed into seconds. The film shows water lilies at 10,000 times normal speed.