Plants Have Feelings Too!

The “shy” plant, mimosa pudica, responds to human touch.

Do you know anyone who is shy? Someone who is shy usually keeps to themselves. Some people get nervous around strangers. They may cross their arms or turn away to try to feel comfortable. Believe it or not, there is a plant that responds the same way! Because of its behavior, the mimosa pudica is nicknamed the shy plant.

The mimosa pudica has pretty pink or purple flowers. But what makes the plant so interesting is its leaves. They are extremely sensitive to touch. When the leaves are touched, they fold together until the whole cluster is closed. This makes the plant look like it’s dying, but it’s not!

The amazing thing about the shy plant is that it does not have a brain. Even without a brain it can tell the difference between a safe touch and a dangerous one. The leaves will not close if a rain drop lands on them. They will close if they sense fire. They will also fold together at night. After a little while, the leaves will open back up again so that they can soak up the sunshine. These amazing plants have adapted over time to survive and thrive!

What Do You Think? How does being sensitive to fire protect the mimosa pudica?

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