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Mimosa pudica
When I was a child, Ma often used to tell me about the touch-me-not plants. She had come across them decades ago when grandpa had been posted in Siligudi. Even as a child with an impressionable mind, I would often look at her in disbelief. I grew up in Delhi and as long as I was there, Ma was unable to produce a specimen of the touch-me-not plant before me. Then I read about it in my school biology book (class six I suppose) and even then it remained one of those exotic species of plants that you merely read about in school textbooks. Mimosa pudica, 'nice', I would often think.

I saw the touch-me-not plant for the first time barely three years ago on a trek near Bangalore. The discovery was accidental. On touching one, I don't know who suffered a greater visible change - me or the Mimosa?

Of course now, I am much better acquainted with the plant. I see it often - usually as a weed that has taken roots amidst other prettier flowering plants. Though Mimosa is a bit of a beauty itself - it bears bright pink globular flowers:

mimosa pudica
posted: 23.8.05


I remember being equally fascinated by the 'touch-me'not' and the 'carnivorous' plants...and like you, I've since then come across several specimens of the former. The only time I saw a carnivorous plant was at a flower exhibition...

By Blogger Geetanjali, at 23.8.05  

hey thanks! I had never seen (rather still haven't seen) the flower of touch-me-not and always believed that it was non-flowering!!

The way you remember your ma, I too remember my dad bringing it home in a lil' pot for me ages ago! :)

By Blogger R, at 24.8.05  

Haaa. Once again.

Touch-me-not (or thottavaadi in Malayalam - translated, "touchy") is a childhood friend! :)

By Blogger sajith, at 24.8.05  

Did not know that the touch-me-not had flowers. The flower looks like the skirt of a fairy's gown!
- Rhus Radicans

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 24.8.05  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Blogger GhanaShyam, at 24.8.05  

Hey Geetanjali, the only place where I've seen a carnivorous plant - rather an insectivorous plant - is the formalin filled jar in my school biology lab. "Pitcher Plant" is what we used to call that one :)

Hi Aditi, hope you get to see one in real life soon!

Hey Sajith.. I've made friends with it too! The name in Hindi, if I am not mistaken is Chhui Muui - छुई मुई. I am not sure if it has a literal meaning (I'll still hazard a guess; chhui - touch Mui - dead; a plant that dies upon touching), though it does seem to convey the plant's feelings on being touched :)

Rhus ji, to borrow a phrase from you - "Unprintable noises" :-)

Hey Ghana, why did you take the comment off? It would have been cool to have people leave the name of this plant in their native language as a comment!

By Blogger Deepak, at 6.9.05  

Thats weird...I have memories of seeing it as probably one of the first plants along with some others. they were all over the place, home, my nursery etc.

I guess, its a S.India thing or atleast a Kerala thingie.

By Blogger Pooja, at 6.9.05  

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