Plant Movements

Plants appear immobile because they are rooted in place. However, time-lapse photography reveals that parts of plants frequently move. Most plants move too slowly for us to notice. Plants move in response to several environmental stimuli, such as light, gravity, and mechanical disturbances. Tropisms are growth responses that occur slowly, while nastic movements happen more quickly.

The way these new sprouts of the flowering shamrock, Oxalis rubra, grow toward a light is an example of positive phototropism. The hormone auxin stimulates the cells on the shaded side of the plant stem to elongate.

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