How to transport fluids, move solids or perceive mechanical signals without the equivalent of pumps, muscles or nerves? This challenge, which is relevant to microfluidics and robotics, has long been solved by plants. In this project, we gather tools and concepts from biomechanics and soft matter physics to address basic mechanisms used by plants to perceive mechanical stimuli and generate motion. The project focuses on three questions in plant biophysics, which all involve the coupling between a fluid (water in the vascular network or in the plant cell, cellular cytoplasm) and a solid (plant cell wall, starch grains in gravity-sensing cells): (i) How mechanical signals are perceived and transported within the plant and what is the role of the water pressure in this long-distance signalling. (ii) How plants sense and respond to gravity and how this response is related to the granular nature of the sensor at the cellular level. (iii) How plants perform rapid motion and what is the role of osmotic motors and cell wall actuation in this process, using the carnivorous plant Venus flytrap as a paradigm for study. Our approach combines experiments on physical systems mimicking the key features of plant tissue and experiments on plants, in tight collaboration with plant scientists. Experiments will be performed both at the organ level (growth kinematics, response to strain and force stimuli) and at the tissue and cellular level (cell imaging, micro-indentation, cell pressure probe). This interdisciplinary and integrative approach should help to fill the gap in our understanding of basic plant functions. It should also offer new strategies to design smart soft materials and fluids inspired by plant perception and motility.