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ID Plant Reacting To Touch

Posted by
madmatt100 48506
( on
Tue, Aug 23, 05 at 20:06

While visiting relatives, they showed my family and I a plant in their backyard. It seemed to grow from a central root area, with shoots going in multiple directions within a 4' radius. There are reddish-brown leaves/petals on each shoot.
What is most peculiar is that, if one were to brush one's fingertips on either a subshoot,or a petal/leaf, the entire length of the subshoot or petal will deliberately contract on itself; touch a shoot, and one can see an entire length close towards the main vine in seconds (forcefully as well, not merely imagined).
Would anyone be able to Identify this interesting plant? All my relatives could say was that it's kind were being given away at a local flower ship with purchases. If anyone has a guess, please let me know.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: ID Plant Reacting To Touch

I think prayer plant does that, but it's a houseplant.

RE: ID Plant Reacting To Touch

  • Posted by Lindac Iowa Z 5/4 (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 23, 05 at 22:30

Sensitive plant....a variety of mimosa...rather common.
Linda C

RE: ID Plant Reacting To Touch

Prayer plants don't respond to touch. Their form of response to environmental stimuli (tropism) is called nyctinastic tropism....reponse to night and day. Thigmotropism is the reponse to a physical touch of some sort. The Mimosa pudica ('Sensitive Plant) is a very common weed in many parts of the country, and considered an oddity by those who are not familiar with it. I've seen it sold in supermarkets, etc.

If this isn't the plant in question (it's impossible to tell from your description), I'd be surprised.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mimosa pudica

RE: ID Plant Reacting To Touch

I think rhizo1 is right. It could be Mimosa pudica. I remember it from a high school project about such peculiar plants. We used to call it "Touch-me-not". It would shrink back upon touching it.

RE: ID Plant Reacting To Touch

I have a Mimosa pudica that I brought home for my daughter to tease. It is now over 4 feet in width and 1 foot high. I plan to use them as ground cover next year in one of my beds. It blooms regularly with fifty to one hundred of these little purple pom poms every few days or so. And actually, entire branches will droop in response to stimuli. It's a defense mechanism which exposes the thorns on the branches to animals attempting to eat the leaves.

Mimosa pudica

RE: ID Plant Reacting To Touch

If the stupid thing is a weed, then why is mine dying? :^(

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