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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 September, 2004, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Flower power turns up the volume
Listening to the Ka-on system
What tune would your flower sing?
Green-fingered gardeners have long espoused the positive benefits of talking to plants.

Now a gadget developed in Japan is allowing flowers to answer back - with music.

Called Ka-on, which means "flower sound" in Japanese, the gadget consists of a doughnut-shaped magnet and coil at the base of a vase.

It hooks up to a CD player, TV or stereo and relays sounds up through a plant's stem and out via the petals.

Happy plants

The speakers shoot sound in all directions, filling a room with music.

The idea is the brainchild of Let's Corp, a Japanese telecommunications equipment company.

It plans to develop a flower with a speaker phone to allow users to carry out conversations with their plants later this month.

President of Let's Corp, Masumi Gotoh demonstrates the Ka-on system
The plants are happy to deliver music says Mr Gotoh
As well as being a novel idea for flower table arrangements at weddings and reception desks, Ka-on is also being used for concerts in Japan.

The Ka-on vases and amplifiers come in various sizes, priced from 25 to 250.

President of Let's Corp Masumi Gotoh says that the system is also beneficial to the plants, keeping bugs off and helping them last longer.

"The plant is happy listening to music," he said.

"Gerberas and sunflowers work especially well as speakers," he added.

Surfers are responding to the musical flowers. Some 10,000 orders have been received via the internet and 3,000 have already been sold.

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