The Private Life of Plants

The Private Life of Plants is a BBC nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, first transmitted in the UK from 11 January 1995. A study of the growth, movement, reproduction and survival of plants, it was the second of Attenborough's specialised surveys following his major trilogy that began with Life on Earth. Each of the six 50-minute episodes discusses the aspects of a plant's life-cycle, using examples from around the world. (from

Image of the Private Life of Plants

In the opening of the Private Life of Plants, David Attenborough says that plants are living organisms like animals. He continues, "And they have to face very much the same sort of problems as animals face throughout their lives if they're to survive. They have to fight one another, they have to compete for mates, they have to invade new territories. But the reason that we're seldom aware of these dramas is that plants of course live on a different time-scale".

The Private Life of Plants uses time-lapse sequences of plants showing amazing images of events that happen in plants over months or years - like growth and development - within seconds. The series consists of six episodes: Traveling about seeds and seeds dispersal; Growing about how plants gain their sustenance; Flowering about pollination; The Social Struggle about competition for light, water, growing space etc; Living Together about give-and-takes between animals and plants; and Surviving dealing with plants that live in harsh environments.

Episode 1 - Traveling
This episode looks at how plants are able to move. The bramble is an aggressive example: it advances forcefully from side to side and, once settled on its course, there is little that can stand in its way.

Episode 2 - Growing
This episode is about how plants gain their sustenance. Sunlight is one of the essential requirements if a seed is to germinate.

Episode 3 - Flowering
This episode is devoted to the ways in which plants reproduce. Pollen and a stigma are the two components needed for fertilisation.

Episode 4 - The Social Struggle
This episode examines how plants either share environments harmoniously or compete for dominance within them.

Episode 5 - Living Together
This episode explores the alliances formed between the animal and plant worlds. Attenborough dives into Australia's Great Barrier Reef and contrasts the nocturnal feeding of coral, on microscopic creatures, with its daytime diet of algae.

Episode 6 - Surviving
This episode deals with plants that live in hostile environments. Attenborough visits Ellesmere Island, north of the Arctic Circle, to demonstrate that even in a place that is unconducive to life, it can be found.

Related Links
The Private Life of Plants - wikipedia
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