Which Plant's Leaves Curl up When You Touch It?

plant-s-leaves-curl-up-touch Credit: Alex Popovkin/CC-BY 2.0

The Mimosa pudica, also known by the common names of sensitive plant, sleeping grass, touch-me-not and tickle-me-plant, is a touch-sensitive plant that folds up its leaves when it is touched. This plant has delicate compound leaves with oblong green leaf blades, and it also produces a pink-purple flower.

In addition to closing or folding when touched, the Mimosa pudica also closes its leaves at night and in response to other sensations, such as shaking or warming. Relative to most other plant movements, the rate at which the leaves close is considered to be very quick. Typically, all of the blades of a leaf will respond to stimuli even if only one or two blades are actually touched.