Electrophysiology of Peace Lily

Electrophysiology of Peace Lily (spathiphyllum cannifolium) is a one-day project exploration done during the Materials of Electronics course. Peace lilies were chosen as they like to be watered a lot at once but also need a chance to dry out afterward. The plant droops a bit when thirsty, communicating when it needs a drink. Varying water levels in the plant lead to varying levels of conductivity, based on different environmental factors. 

The team wanted to map & visualize conductivity for a plant with the help of a drawdio circuit. Using two probes, the sound from the speaker connected to the drawdio and that sound was then recorded. The frequency of local maxima was then determined for this sound bite and plotted. Higher frequency meant higher conductivity. The team also observed how different factors might affect conductivity like the length of a stem, size of leaves, rain, day/night cycles. A general trend seemed to emerge. The team observed that conductivity decreases from the root to the tip of the plant and the plant seemed to be more conductive at night, compared to day.

The plant that was selected was a part of a bigger group in an area, which meant resources are being shared. The team felt sound gave only one dimension of what they wanted to hear, although being able to listen to a plant, be it one-sided communication turned out to be a beautiful experience for the team.