Plants and their memories

Tell me if you remember me, what you and I lived nuevo again I want to feel...and see when you are going to come, because remembering is living. The above is a paraphrased fragment of the song memories of the composers Raymond G., and Carlos R., and I wanted to begin the writing of this publication a little to associate that bringing to memory something perceived in the past, learned or known some time ago, or simply holding something in our mind, is not something exclusive to the human species.

About it it is known that some animals have a memory and can have memories of past events, for example, chimpanzees have a photographic memory which later allows them to identify certain geographical positions, cats can retain information in the short term for ten minutes, and the canines have episodic memory, therefore, have the ability to remember complex actions performed by a person in a recent past.

Fig. 2 Dogs have episodic memory so they have the ability to remember complex actions. Image of public domain, Author: 1115305, 2016

Now, beyond the abilities that humans and certain animals have to remember episodes that occurred in the past and relate them in the present, plant species also possess this ability to remember climatic events that they then associate with physiological responses in the present to generate metabolic balances that guarantee them to resist adverse conditions.

Among the events that most remember plants are the periods of drought, events that record to program the physiological saving of water, this according to scientific inferences that ensure that there are biomolecules, which are activated in plant species as a response to remember droughts, making them open their pores less when the climate is drier, and in this way decrease the elimination of water and.

Fig. 3 Plants regulate the opening and closing of their stomata according to the climatic period. Image of public domain, Author: Veronika_Andrews, 2021

According to a study published in the journal Nature, Plants use a signaling molecule called GABA that they use as a kind of neurotransmitter to remember the degree of drought, and when dryness is dangerously increased, the accumulation of this molecule in plant tissue becomes more intense during the day. This fascinating finding around plant species memories is not a new fact, as it has previously been related to other times of behaviors where it has been inferred that plants have memory.


[1] Rauander D Do plants remember drought? Hints towards a drought-memory in grasses. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 71: 34-40. Article: Online access

[2] Rauander D Evidence of drought memory in Dipteryx alata indicates differential acclimation of plants to savanna conditions. Scientific Reports. 10: 16455. Article: Online access


āœ” The cover image was designed by the author: @lupafilotaxia, incorporating the public domain image background: EM80, 2018

Original manuscript, uploaded from the Project HOPE community website