08
Nov
08

Heat producing plants

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This is philodendron bipinnatifidum. The male flowers often produce heat in the evenings to encourage pollination. They rise up to 13 degrees hotter than the atmosphere. I was thinking these plants would be a great way to produce heat efficiently. I know biological sciences aren’t necessarily under the umbrella of industrial design. But as environmental concerns increase and our reliance on oil decreases, studying this plant would be a great way to heat homes. Imagine an entire wall or ceiling full of heat producing plants. It would not only create a lush and natural environment, but warm the entire room. Granted, you would need nutrients for the plant. But raising these plants would be like a pet; something you would want to nurture because it provides something in return. 

I started thinking about this because my apartment has bone white walls. And I recently started to turn on the heater to warm up during cold SF nights. I wish my apartment was more inviting and more efficient.

To be honest, I would totally spend the extra money nourishing a plant like this if it provided heat and a link to nature – even if it cost more than traditional heating methods. Being on the cutting edge of ‘green culture’ is something a lot of people value. I hope scientists study these natural processes and are able to harness them in useful ways. Just think about a beautiful bloom on your wall which manages to heat your entire apartment!

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