Mimosa pudica | ‘Dormilones’, ‘Sensitive Plant’, ‘Touch-me-not’ | 25 seeds
Similar in appearance to its relative Mimosa hostilis, Mimosa pudica (syn. Mimosa hispidula) – most commonly known as the ‘Sensitive Plant’ – is a fascinating flowering annual species of the family Fabaceae family. Also known as the ‘Action Plant’, ‘Dormilones’, ‘Shameplant’, ‘Shy Plant’, ‘Sleepy Plant’, ‘Touch-me-not’ and ‘Zombie Plant’, this species folds its leaves up should it be mechanically or electrically stimulated (similar to Mimosa hostilis, they also close up during the hours of darkness), re-opening several minutes later, once it feels the coast is clear! It’s thought that this action evolved as a defence against predators, such as herbivores.
A thorny, erect and branching bush to small tree, pudica grows to a maximum height of approximately one and a half metres, often assuming a more creeping or trailing aspect as it gets older. Its prickly, blue-green compound leaves are accompanied by pink-lavender-purple, summer-blooming globular flowers (pollinated by both insects and the wind) up to a centimetre or so across) and multi-podded, prickly fruit (up to two roughly two centimetres in length). Its seed and some other parts are toxic if ingested! Pudica‘s roots produce carbon disulphide, making it a nitrogen-fixing species. It’s also known to increase Potassium levels in areas where it grows, as well as to phytoremediate soil pollution by heavy metals.
A winner of the British Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit, Mimosa pudica is native to the Americas, as well as being a more recent addition to the flora of parts of Africa, Asia, Australia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the Pacific. However, some countries consider the species to be invasive.
Commonly to be found growing in poorly nutritious, well-drained and neutral soil in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11, pudica is frost-sensitive and is not shade tolerant, requiring a minimum ambient temperature of 13°C (55°F) to survive. It can also be cultivated as an indoor annual. When growing from seed, germination is greatly improved by means of a seed pre-soak (we recommend soaking for twelve to twenty-four hours, as with Mimosa hostilis), but it’s also possible to propagate this species from cuttings too. Germination generally occurs within two to four weeks, dependent on climate, etc. Place your plants somewhere in full sun to partial shade, spacing them at least ninety centimetres apart s that they have enough room to grow to maturity.
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced