Illustrated GIFs Show How Plants Talk

Yukai Du's creative, colorful illustrated GIFs let you peek into a world of plant conversation.


Artist Yukai Du’s illustrations and GIFs are colorful and nature-inspired, especially in her series Plant Communiation.

Commissioned by TED-Ed, Du’s pink and blue animated drawings visualize a lesson by Richard Karban on the surprising ways plants can communicate. “Can plants talk to each other? It certainly doesn’t seem that way: They don’t have complex sensory or nervous systems, like animals do, and they look pretty passive,” Karban explains. “But odd as it sounds, plants can communicate with each other—especially when they’re under attack.”

Du’s GIFs bring the viewer into the world of plants, letting us see through soil and highlighting the way pollen can carry through the wind. Her style is throwback to children’s picture books and animated school science films. There’s a visual comfort in the primary colors and chunky outlines.

See Yukai Du’s Plant Communication below, and find more of her work on her portfolio.

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