Evidence grows for parental care in plants
Plants generally come across as the "good-luck-and-good-bye" type of mothers. They're great at making baby clothes, wrapping their seeds in sophisticated coatings that keep away pests but let in spring rains. Plants also typically pack a good lunch for their little ones venturing out into the world. The fatty parts of coconuts, cashews, and peanuts are such good snacks that they appeal to youngsters of other species as well. But now biologists are discovering that some plants make unexpected investments that go beyond the physical characteristics of the seed.