Mimosa pudica is a popular, indoor novelty plant and provides unique ground-cover in outdoor gardens. It has evolved the ability to move its foliage rapidly when disturbed, frightening many potential predators and attracting the curiosity of countless gardeners.
Mimosa pudica produces bright pink or purple flowers.
image by "Mimosa pudica" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: SantaRosa OLD SKOOL (Gilberto Santa Rosa) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
Mimosa pudica is a vining plant growing up to 18 inches tall with scores of fern-like branches. Pudica's flowers are sprays of pink or purple filaments, usually 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch wide.
When touched, the branches of Mimosa pudica will droop and fold their leaves shut, usually returning to normal within 30 minutes. Pudica's leaves similarly fold up at night, reopening with the sunrise each morning.
Mimosa pudica is a perennial, meaning that it can live many years if kept properly. In cooler climates, it is often grown outdoors as an annual during the spring and summer months, dying each year with the onset of winter.
Although native to Central and South America, Mimosa pudica has spread to temperate and tropical regions throughout the world.
Outside of its natural range, Mimosa pudica is categorized as an invasive species and can damage native plant populations.
Ayurvedic medicine uses root extracts from Mimosa pudica to hasten healing, treat diarrhea and ease skin disorders.
- Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry
- British Broadcasting Corporation
- Global Invasive Species Database
mimosa pudica, perennial, sensitive plant
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Justin Coleman is a freelance writer based in Connecticut. Since 2007, he has covered a variety of topics, including biology and computers, amongst others. Coleman is currently a freelance nature and technology writer and wildlife photographer. When not working, Coleman tirelessly explores new areas of nature, history, philosophy, comparative religion, technology and sociology.