Unusual Plants - The Touch-Me-Not Plant
One of the most unusual plants I've been fascinated by since I was a child goes by the scientific name of Mimosa pudica. Anyone who comes across this plant would be fascinated by its response to touch. The "pudica" part of the name means "shy." The name is justified as when you touch the leaves of this plant, they fold inwards and shut for a few moments. Its not surprising therefore that it is also commonly called as the "touch-me-not" plant. The closing motion of the leaves is quite dramatic and you almost feel as if the plant is alive - one of the reasons why children especially are fascinated by it.
It is thought that the plant uses this feature to thwart predators. The shrinking and closing of the leaves is thought to startle potential predators, thereby ensuring its survival. The plant is used as an ornamental plant due to this unique ability and its immense curiosity value. It also has a beautiful flower that adds to the ornamental appeal. The plant, however, is thought to be toxic if ingested. It has some hard bristles too that make it quite challenging to handle.
The plant can be dangerous for children because of the bristles and toxic nature. You wouldn't want children getting injured playing with the plant or ingesting any part of this plant. This greatly diminishes the attractiveness of having this plant as a home ornamental plant. It is also increasingly being seen as a weed in many parts of the world.
Nonetheless, one can't deny the fact that Mimosa pudica or the "touch-me-not" plant is a compelling and fascinating plant. It is a plant unlike the usual plants one comes across.
© 2009 Shil1978