Mimosa pudica (Sensitive Plant)

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Mimosa pudica, also called the Shame Plant, is a creeping annual or perennial flowering plant of the pea/legume family Fabaceae. It grows to a height of 50 cm with a spread of 30 cm. Mimosa Pudica is common in rather moist waste ground, in lawns and in open plantations. This ornamental plant can also be grown indoors in pots or outdoors as an annual in the cooler zones.

The flowers are pale lilac pink, nearly 1 inch in diameter. The flowers are globe shaped, and are appearing in Summer. It has numerous filaments. The stem is erect, slender, red-brown and branching. The fruit is flat and uplong. Bristles on seed pod cling to fur and clothing. The leaves are fern like and pale green with opposite bipinnate leaflets.

When this plant is touched, the leaves fold and the stems droop. Recovery is prompt, and the action can be repeated endlessly without harm to the plant. These movements are called seismonastic movements, reaction to physical shock. At night, the leaves will also fold and bend in movements known as nyctonastic movements, reaction to absence of light.