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Mimosa Sensitive Plant OR.

Mimosa Sensitive Plant OR.

Mimosa Sensitive Plant

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and take a look at how Mimosa trees were used by prehistoric people.is a creeping annual or perennial flowering plant of the pea/legume family Fabaceae. It is often grown for its curiosity value: the compound leaves fold inward and droop when touched or shaken, defending themselves from harm, and re-open a few minutes later.The stem is erect in young plants, but becomes creeping or trailing with age. It can hang very low and become floppy. The stem is slender, branching, and sparsely to densely prickly, growing to a length of 1.5 m (5 ft).

Plant

The leaves are bipinnately compound, with one or two pinnae pairs, and 10–26 leaflets per pinna. The petioles are also prickly. Pedunculate (stalked) pale pink or purple flower heads arise from the leaf axils in mid summer with more and more flowers as the plant gets older. The globose to ovoid heads are 8–10 mm (0.3–0.4 in) in diameter (excluding the stamens). On close examination, it is seen that the floret petals are red in their upper part and the filaments are pink to lavender. Pollens are circular with approximately 8 microns diameter. The leaflets also close when stimulated in other ways, such as touching, warming, blowing, shaking, which are all encapsulated within mechanical or electrical stimulation. These types of movements have been termed seismonastic movements. This reflex may have evolved as a defense mechanism to disincentivize predators, or alternatively to shade the plant in order to reduce water loss due to evaporation. The main structure mechanistically responsible for the drooping of the leaves is the pulvinus.

The stimulus is transmitted as an action potential from a stimulated leaflet, to the leaflet's swollen base (pulvinus), and from there to the pulvini of the other leaflets, which run along the length of the leaf's rachis.The action potential then passes into the petiole, and finally to the large pulvinus at the end of the petiole, where the leaf attaches to the stem. The pulvini cells gain and lose turgor due to water moving in and out of these cells, and multiple ion concentrations play a role in the manipulation of water movement.This characteristic is quite common within the Mimosoideae subfamily of the legume family, Fabaceae. The stimulus can also be transmitted to neighboring leaves. 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 herbivores. Animals may be afraid of a fast moving plant and would rather eat a less active one. Another possible explanation is that the sudden movement dislodges harmful insects. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

 

 

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