The 'sensitive' Mimosa

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July 8th 2021
Published: July 11th 2021
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Carolina Greenhouse (Winter garden)

The Greenhouse is home to many tropical and subtropical species, one of which I found very interesting. It is called the 'Sensitive Mimosa'. It reacts in real time to touch, wind or fire stress.

The main reason for this phenomenon is to protect themselves against phytophagous plant eating insects. Once the insects arrive on the leaf, the leaf closes in on itself, causing the leaf stem to bend downwards making the insects inevitably fall to the ground.

The same happens with wind related stress; in this case, the plant avoids defoliation. After a few minutes, once the wind has ceased, the leaf returns to its original position.


■phytophagus insects - insects which feed on green plants
■defoliation - removal of leaves

The Botanical Garden of Palermo

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