About the Show10 February 2022
26 years after the ground-breaking nature series The Private Life of Plants, Sir David Attenborough takes us back inside the green world with the BBC’s Natural History Unit, as cutting-edge camera technology and motional controlled robotics show us how plants live, reproduce, defend themselves, get rid of their rivals, form partnerships with animals, and more. The 5-episode series features a number of scientific breakthroughs and is suitable for the whole family.
Episode 1: Tropical Worlds
Tropical forests are a plant battleground. See how plants compete from the canopy to beneath the forest floor. Highlights include the Balsa Tree in South America, an underground fungus that gets leaf-cutting ants to feed it, the parasitic corpse flower that mimics a dead animal to attract pollinators, and a relationship between the bat and the 7-hour flower that has never been caught on camera before.
Episode 2: Water Worlds
Plants have to be a special kind of tough to keep a foothold in water. Plants in Columbia’s Rainbow River stick themselves to rocks with glue, while in Brazil’s flooded Pantanal, they have evolved with dangling roots and airbags that allow them to drift and follow the sun. See how the giant water lily bludgeons and spikes its way to the top of the food chain, and how Japan’s Marimo algae balls escape predatory swans. And uncover the role of sea grass in absorbing carbon dioxide and fighting climate change.
Episode 3: Seasonal Worlds
Plants need to survive vastly different conditions in parts of the world that have 4 seasons. Find out how the dodder plant uses its stem to prey on other plants, explore the life-or-death battle between the Sap Sucker Woodpecker and the Canadian Maple, and visit South Africa, where the Fire Lily rises from the ashes and the Ceratocaryum tricks dung beetles into burying its seeds – both of which have been caught on camera for the first time.
Episode 4: Desert Worlds
Freezing and searing temperatures and a lack of water make deserts a challenge for plants like the Saguaro Cactus. And when you’re 1 of the only items on the menu, everyone wants a nibble. See how the desert mistletoe uses the mockingbird to help it to overcome the hedgehog cactus’s defences, how the pack rat has learned to use the Teddy Bear Cholla’s fuzzy coat of spines in its own defence, why South Africa’s desert starfish smells so terrible and how its stone plants let the light in.
Episode 5: Human Worlds
Sir David Attenborough visits Kew Gardens to see the extraordinary Millennium Seedbank, and shows us how plants cling to life, even in the busiest roundabout in London. Find out how people in India turn fig trees into living bridges, how farmers get bees to pollinate almond blossoms as insect populations around the world plummet, how Kenyans are re-greening their country via slingshot, paraglider and catapult, and how Brazilians have rebuilt a rainforest from scratch.
Watch The Green Planet Season 1, Sundays at 16:00 on BBC Earth (DStv Channel 184)