The Private Life of Plants

The Private Life of Plants: Travelling is about how different species of plants travel in order to reproduce. It looks at the seeds of many species including bramble, birdcage plant, fungi, dandelions, and even cottonwood trees. This documentary talks about how certain plants can “travel” from place to place to spread their seeds. The bramble is one of the first plants that David Attenborough looks at. He explains how the plant aggressively moves side to side to find a place to release rootlets to grow. The next plant Attenborough looks at is the birdcage plant. He explains how this plant uses the wind to “run” through the desert to spread its seeds. He then looks at a species of fungi whose spores spread in a similar fashion. He explains how the puffballs use the wind to carry the clouds of spores it releases as it rolls down hills. Attenborough briefly explains how the earth stars use the rain to disperse their spores into the air. He then explains how the dandelions are one of the best plants to use the wind to disperse their seeds. He includes how each seed has its own parachute to travel. This allows for the seed to travel for miles due to the high population of adult dandelions that won’t allow for new growth. Attenborough then goes on to explain how trees also use their height and the wind to their advantage. The higher the tree the longer it takes for the seed to reach the ground and the further it can travel. The tree he uses for this example is the Cottonwood tree. This is due to their fluff balls that they produce where the wind can carry them for miles. He explains how many of them end up in rivers and wash along the banks and grow and how others are lost. Attenborough also explains how many different plants have apparatuses to help them be carried in the wind and how many people have tried to recreate them with no success. Attenborough also looks at other plants like the sea bean and how it can end up on the other side of the world. He also looks at plants that don’t use the wind but hooks and animals with long coats of fur like the burdocks. Attenborough also looks at the grapple plant and how it uses the hooves of an ostrich to carry the plant for many miles.