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The Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica)

We can all be a little sensitive sometimes. Some of us much more than others. The Sensitive Plant is one of those who responds more drastically due to sensitivity as opposed to other plants and make a good specimen to look at it terms of plant movements.

Physical Description and Behavior

The stem of this plant, which can be up to 5 feet tall, starts out erect and then droops with age. Their leaves are bipinnately compound, each one containing 10-26 leaflets. The flower of this plant is spherical and begins as red before changing to a more pink or lilac color.

The most fascinating thing about this plant has to be its movement. If one touches or shakes the leaves, they will visibly close. This event is known as a seismonastic movement and occurs at the Pulvinus. This part of the plant helps keep everything straight, allowing for more sun exposure. However, if an animal comes forward to try to eat the plant, it will fold in on itself and droop, thus making it look wilted and therefore unappetizing.

A common use for this plant would be phytoremediation. It is used near tin mines to help draw out the excess arsenic from the soil. They can also take out other heavy metals, such as copper, lead, tin, and zinc. This helps make the soil more habitable for growing fruits and vegetables.

Habitat and Location

This plant is native to the Americas, found in South, Central, and North America. On top of that, it has been introduced to India, Thailand, Nepal, Malasia, Vietnam, Laos, Japan, and more.

The IUCN Red List considers this species to be of Least Concern, stating their population as "stable."

Check out more about this plant by watching the video below:

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