I was delighted to spot this extremely Unusual Creeper in the Southern Tip of Kerala near a countryside better know for Coconuts and Cashew Nuts. ( do check out a blog titled ENCHANTING WORLD OF NUTS).

Incredibly, the last time I remember seeing them was in the Himalayan foothills ( 3000 kilometers away from Kollam.Kerala)  many Moons ago.

The Shy Plant ( English), Mimosa Pudica ( Scientific Name) or Sensitive Plant is absolutely fascinating as it has a unique reaction when you touch the leaves.

in the forest of green.jpg
Hidden in a Forest of Green

Chui Mui ( Hindi) or Touch Me Not ( English is how this extremely fascinating  Herb is referred to in common parlance.

Local names describe characteristics of flora perfectly, as showcased by  the apt name “Chui Mui”  (the sensitive one,  that which wilts on a mere touch) of this “Mimosa” species which belongs to the sub family Mimosoideae and  Pea family Fabaceae.

The Touch Stimulus like Light has a dramatic Effect on these species. A fellow blogger has mentioned since that they have a “Mimosa Tree” the leaves of which close once the Sun sets.

It sets off a series of chemical reactions within the Plant which make the leaves close Inside Out in Pairs. ( wikipedia has a lovely gif showing the domino effect of closure)  After the entire set of leaves Fold Up the Stem carrying them droops down as well. Remarkable Reaction is it Not?

a gentle touch
Keep Away

This very fascinating  but inconspicuous creeper has crept into India from faraway lands in South and Central America. The mystery for me is  precisely how long ago ?

Even a Gentle touch by a Lady makes the Leaves Close Up in Domino Fashion.

all fold up
All Fold Up

Will fill in more Enchanting details after a few hours as Guests have dropped in and they are protesting vehemently to my being at the Computer.

Thus with due apologies am signing off with a promise to return fast.

I try as far as possible to share details of the family to which a plant,flower or Tree belongs. The names are for unknown reasons tongue twisters and difficult to remember.

Yet, they are the key to unlocking many common characteristics shared by ALL Species belonging to ONE family.

As the Chui Mui belongs to the Pea family they are also” Nitrogen Fixers” of the Soils they inhabit.

Having fulfilled my promise of an Update,  I leave you with more details and images  of a Fascinating Plant which responds to a mere Touch.

drooping down
Chui Mui from America

Do observe how the Stem of the leaves at the top of the picture Droop downwards.


Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

31 thoughts on “TOUCH ME “NOT””

  1. I look forward to reading the rest of your post. When I hear about closing leaves I think of the Venus Fly Trap. I wonder why the leaves you are showing us close. Hopefully you will tell us! :).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The photo at the end showing them closed and hanging from the stem is fascinating. Thanks so much for introducing the plant to me, and to us. I was also surprised to hear that they are from the Americas. I’ve never seen anything like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for stopping by Jazz Cookie. Now that I’ve found your site, I’ll be here often. I was a budding botanist (pun intended) many years ago and inherited a love of plants from my grandmother. Now I write and paint, but still love plants. I finally live where I can grow orchids on my front porch – it’s great.

    Your site is beautiful and I’m so glad we “met.”
    Molly in San Diego, CA

    Liked by 1 person

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