Sunday, May 16, 2010

Don't touch me!

The compound leaves of mimosa

Species: Mimosa pudica (a.k.a known as touch-me-not)

Some interesting facts from Wikipedia:

pudica = shy

"The flowers are pollinated by the wind and insects."

"The foliage closes during darkness and reopens in light. The leaves also close under various other stimuli, such as touching, warming, blowing, or shaking."

"It is not known exactly why Mimosa pudica evolved this trait, but many scientists think that the plant uses its ability to shrink as a defense from predators. Animals may be afraid of such a fast moving plant and would rather go and eat a less active one. "

"The species can be a troublesome weed in tropical crops, particularly when fields are hand cultivated. Crops it tends to affect are corn, coconuts, tomatoes, cotton, coffee, bananas, soybeans, papaya, and sugar cane."

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