Mimosa pudica (Sensitive/ Touch me not plant)

Artaeshia

Arachnosquire
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May 6, 2012
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122
If you could, I'd really like to see a series of pics of their development. Best would be if some were kept in hot house conditions, if that would be possible. IE > 80 degrees F
I will upload some more recent pictures later. I keep my room about 22-25 C for my Ts. The plants are kept in the window. It looks as though the leaves open and shut at night ever so subtley, will try and upload this too.

Here are some photo's I have just taken this morning. I'll take some more later to see if I can photograph the closing of the leaves at night.

P4145822.jpg P4145823.jpg

It's now 10pm and here are the leaves almost closed.

P4145824.jpg P4145825.jpg
 
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The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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Aug 8, 2005
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7,993
Waiting for the feather leaves. Come on! This reminds me I found a field of dwarfed pudica the other day I need to go get a picture of.
 

xTimx

Arachnoknight
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Dec 30, 2012
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187
i have 2 of these in my Paludarium, humidity is 80%+ they are wrapped into like a breathable cloth and i'm waiting on the roots to poke through before i plant them into the soil. and so far they are growing pretty good. mimosa's are a creeper (so i've been told) and fill out quite well. the breeder that i got these from said they are hit and miss when growing them from a seedling.

Good luck on growing yours :D
 

Artaeshia

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 6, 2012
Messages
122
Getting taller :)

P4265938.jpg P4265939.jpg P4265940.jpg

It appears to be bending towards the light on some days, there's now a new shoot beginning to develop too. Oh and the leaves actively close when you touch them (last pic). I tapped it by accident when I was watering, but I don't want to use up all the plants energy so will be more careful haha!
 

Tarac

Arachnolord
Joined
Oct 6, 2011
Messages
618
The local name for this plant is 'Two Life'.

In the cool season, in arid conditions, or in temperate climates it is little more than a ground cover, growing less than 1" tall



Where there is more water it grows into the familiar novelty 'Sensitive Plant' up to about 12"



In the background of the 12 inchers next to a canal the plant grows to about 30 inches tall, but only takes off like this in the hot season.


In more fertile soil around 30 inches tall.

After giving it a few whacks with a stick. You can see the method behind it's madness. The plant becomes almost invisible.


But give it a hot climate, the middle of summer and abundant water, watch out. This river was completely cleared to mineral soil 8 months ago.

What you have is not pudica. It does not change habit- it can look "tall" in a somewhat viney, upright sense, but it is always diminutive. You are looking at either M. pigra or M. diplotricha. Both look virtually identical to M. pudica but are far grander in stature. Unfortunately my work computer does not allow me to see "online storage media" so I can't see the images to distinguish but I suspect you have images of diplotricha. M. diplotricha is the most similar in your part of the world, it too is an invasive weed there- the two are often confused and I think were formerly lumped together as two forms of one plant when they are in fact not. Could also be M. invisa. I'm not sure how many matches to pudica there are that occur in your area because there are quite a few and they have a proclivity for taking over in places they should not be. But diplotricha is the most similar and noxious that I know of.

I am home now and see the images, definitely not pudica. I am pretty sure this is diplotricha now, the others are too big. The habitat is another clue- this species is a moisture lover. The obvious morphological difference is the number of branchlets, numerous in the larger plants and limited to about 4 on pudica- this is one of the distinguishing traits of pudica in the genus. Your large sensitive plant is likely diplotricha, possibly M. pigra. Have to look at number of seeds in pods to distinguish that- pigra has many, diplotricha has just a few like pudica. Too many branchlets, too upright. That plant is not a robust example of pudica, it is a different species (which can be found in the habitats to some extent, side by side).

While it is true that plants can dwarf or grow larger in certain ranges of habitat, even the gardenia you mention exhibits such variety because cultivated gardenia are a mixture of species typically, not one. What grows in colder climates often comes with more of the cold-tolerant parent's other traits- smaller plant, smaller leaves, sometimes loss of fragrance even. But not easy to distinguish because they are hybrids. Here we have complete separate species that exhibit the same general appearance which, if this were a desirable plant to cultivate, could be used to cross for enhancement of whatever quality was important in the target area of cultivation and still retain the gestalt of pudica, just as we see in cultivated gardenia. Too bad the bulk of mimosa are nasty invasive anywhere they survive outside. And great sources entertainment for children lol.
 
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The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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Thanks much for the input. Unfortunately this is adding to the confusion. A case in point is a fallow rice field just down the road I have been watching closely for several months. After the rice harvest the field was plowed up but not replanted. In January a 'ground cover' mimosa came up covering most of the field. The field was extremely dry. We had 2 light rains in February and the plants grew to about 12 inches then growth appeared to be arrested. They remained 12 inches tall through the roasting dry season of March and April. A few, maybe 10 of the several thousand plants flowered but poorly. Last week we had 3 monsoons, the first real rains since October of last year. Right now the plants are bolting, having grown to an average of 2 feet tall in the past week. We had a heavy rain 2 nights ago. I noted this morning some of the plants are now up around 3 feet.
There are no ground cover plants. They have all bolted and a few more are starting to flower. I'll go get a picture this morning though I cannot enter the field for close ups due to very odd circumstances. Are there any rules of thumb that I can use to differentiate the species?

I need to add an anecdote to this. The field where these plants are growing is up against the back of a SERIOUS No Tell Motel. That is, a series of bungalows without any windows at all. None! Each bungalow has it's own car port and there is a heavy drape that can be drawn to conceal a car. The motel of course rents but the time used be it by minute, hour or the entire night. Be all that as it may, they are extremely sensitive, more so than the mimosa, about people being near their place with cameras.
 
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Tarac

Arachnolord
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Oct 6, 2011
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618
Yes, there are ways to tell morphologically. The easy character visible in your first set of photos is the number of branchlets. There will be only 4-6 or so on pudica (total, 2-3 pairs) and many more on the other species, regardless of height. You can distinguish between the remaining possibilities by seed number, which of course means you need reproductive material. Overall, the appearance of pudica will still always look like a small plant that has gone rogue and become vine-like where those in your pics have a sturdy stem that is supporting the plant without the benefit of other vegetation to sprawl upwards on. Mimosa is a fairly big genus, many having very similar appearance and the characteristic leaf closing upon disturbance. The two plants you have pictured are undoubtedly two species (maybe even three?). Those four I mentioned are global invasives, found in your area and I would not be surprised if there are even more. Pudica is always a "small" appearing plant regardless of whether or not an individual growth happens to become long (up to a meter) as it reaches for the light.

My advice- count leaflets and then look for reproductive material but, dear god, NOT IN CLOSE VICINITY OF THE WINDOWS OF THAT MOTEL!! I'm sure you will find dome, just not anything that will distinguish the species or leave you without psychological trauma ;)
 

josh_r

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
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Jan 18, 2008
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I am pretty sure pudica is one of the species in the pictues he posted. A simple google search will reveal great information on all the species you named and none of them fit the description of small plants at the base of the bicycle tire as well as pudica does... but then again... there are over 400 species of mimosa....
 
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