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Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica)

Add some fun and greenery to the indoors with the help of the sensitive plant.

The fine texture and small powderpuff pinkish-purple blooms make it a nice addition to your indoor garden. But the real attraction is the folding leaves. A gentle touch of the leaves or as the day darkens into night the leaves fold and droop.  They bounce back as daylight returns or an hour or two after being touched.

It’s thought that this response may be a defense mechanism, since animals tend to skip wilted plants to dine on healthier specimens. The wilting also helps conserve moisture.

This tropical beauty is native to Brazil, but has naturalized throughout the tropics of America, Africa and Asia. You can grow it as an outdoor annual where it reaches 18 inches in height. Hardy in zone 11 it can reseed and be a bit weedy in the Gulf states.

A bit more information:  Impress your friends with a bit more information. Nyctinastic is the term used to describe the nighttime movement of these leaves. Seismonastic movements occur when the leaves are touched or the plant is shaken.

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