I'm growing some beans...
... in my garden, and I'm slightly amazed at how they grow. If you've somehow never seen the way a bean or a pea plant grows, it's truly remarkable. You put them in the ground, and after not very long, they look like this:
As you can see, the vine is climbing up the bamboo by wrapping itself around the pole. Eventually, it will climb to the top (12 feet, 4 meters), and maybe a bit beyond.
Of course, I have questions, in particular, I'm fascinated by the way the beans are growing up the poles. They're curling around the pole in the most amazing way. Here's a closeup of the tip of a bean plant wrapping around a support string:
This leads me to ask a few Research Questions about how beans and peas do this. Can you help me figure out what's going on here?
1. How do the plants find what to climb on? I mean, they don't have eyes, so... how do they find the closest support to climb up?
2. Speaking of which... What part of the plant does the searching for the nearest support? Is there a specific name for this?
3. How / when does the plant decide to start hunting for support? My beans didn't seem to start immediately looking for a support, so how do they know when to search?
4. What do you call this behavior? (Note: there’s a specific term for a lot of these concepts.. in particular, the movement of a plant wrapping around something for support.)
5. And... who coined that specific term? (Can you find the coiner and where it was coined?)
This should be a fun set of Challenges for you. It's also great to be thinking about spring, renewal, growth and looking into the future with some optimism.
Be sure to let us know HOW you found your answers! (We all want to learn from your discovery process.)