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Sensitive Plant

Mimosa pudica
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Mimosoideae
Sensitive Plant
Origin: Tropical America

Also known as sensitive plant, sleeping grass, touch-me- not and tickle-me- plant, is a touch-sensitive plant that folds up its leaves when it is touched. This plant has delicate compound leaves with oblong green leaf blades and it also produces a pink- purple flower.

Habit: Groundcover and/or low-growing weed to 2ft. in height but usually lower. Full sun to semi-shade. Pink flowers. Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds. When leaves are touched with a bit more force, the petioles will also bend and the leaves droop. These movements are called seismonastic movements, a reaction to physical shock. In addition to closing or folding when touched, the plant also closes its leaves at night and in response to other sensations, such as shaking or warming. Relative to most other plant movements, the rate at which the leaves close is very quick. Typically, all of the blades of a leaf will respond to stimuli even if only one or two blades are actually touched. The leaves fold at night as a reaction to absence of light. The plant flowers in mid to late summer. The flowers are globe shaped, about 1" across.

Culture: It is a fun plant to grow. It’s a fun plant to grow in full sun to partial shade, in most soils. It will do better in prepared beds that are kept evenly moist but not saturated. Fertilize with the normal organic program. During the winter months, fertilize on a monthly basis. Regular water requirements.

Propagation: It is propagated from seed. Seed will germinate in 14 to 21 days at 70F.

Notes: Mimosa strigillosa that is also used as a ground cover.


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