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Mimosa pudica Sensitive Plant


Spring to Summer

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This Sensitive Plant is also known by other common names such as Humble plant, Shameful plant, Sleeping grass, Touch-me-not, Chuimui. It starts off erect when young plants, but becomes creeping or trailing with age. The stem is slender, branching, and has prickly thorns. In the tropics it will grow to to a length of 1.5 m (5 ft). In England it needs warmth during spring, but can be put outside in summer. It is an annual and is a pernicious weed in some tropical countries. It likes growing in tropical grassland. The compound leaves are bipinnate, with 10-26 leaflets per leaf. The petioles are also prickly. The pale pink mimosa type pink flower heads arise from the leaf axils. The fruit pods consists of clusters of 2-8 pods from 1–2 cm long each containing pale brown seeds some 2.5 mm long. The seeds have hard seed coats which restrict germination. The foliage closes during darkness and reopens in light. The leaves also close under stimuli, such as touching, blowing, or shaking. These types of movements have been termed seismonastic movements. It is a wonderful plant to introduce children to the wonders of the plant word. The only problem is to stop them from constantly touching the plant. Without the flowers it is a very pretty plant and with the flowers it is a beautiful one.

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