sensitive plant

3 ENTRIES FOUND:

sensitive plant

noun

Definition of SENSITIVE PLANT

:  any of several mimosas (especially Mimosa pudica) with leaves that fold or droop when touched; broadly :  a plant responding to touch with movement

First Known Use of SENSITIVE PLANT

1659

sensitive plant

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Either of two plants in the pea family (see legume) that close up their leaves and droop when touched. This unusually quick response is due to rapid water release from specialized cells at the bases of leaftsalks. The more common plant is Mimosa pudica (see mimosa). Spiny and shrubby, with fernlike leaves and small, globular, mauve flower puffs, it grows about 1 ft (30 cm) high as a widespread tropical weed and a greenhouse curiosity. Wild sensitive plant (Cassia nictitans) is less sensitive to touch; a larger plant, 20 in. (50 cm) high, it is native to the eastern U.S. and the West Indies.

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