Monday, November 15, 2010

Plants of Malaysia

Mimosa pudica

Mimosa pudica is locally known as "pokok semalu", which laterally means "shy plant". This leguminosae (alt. Fabaceae) plant is a creeping weed which can spread very quickly because of the numerous seeds it produces. The flowers are pink to purple in colour, producing a cluster of pods at the end of the flowering time.

The leaves are small and compound in nature. When the leaves are touched, they 'shrink', seemingly trying to hide themselves. This withdrwing behaviour is probably the reason for giving this plant its name "touch-me-not","semalu" and others, depending on the langguage of the locality where the plant is found.

The stem is thin and hard, branched, and have slightly hooked thorns. The plant is firmly rooted to the soil, making it hard to pull by hand. Older plants show the presence of nodules, which result from symbiotic association with Rhizobium, the nitrogen-fixing bacteria.




Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae/Leguminosae
Subfamily: Mimosoideae
Genus: Mimosa
Species: Mimosa pudica

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