The Sensitive Plant: The Plant that Lives and Dies and Lives Again!
The Sensitive Plant

The Sensitive Plant goes by many names. It's called the Touch-Me-Not, the Shame Plant, the Tickle-Me Plant, and even the Live-and-Die Plant. Each of these names describes this plant's very cool reaction to touch: the leaves fold up and the stalks droop! The leaves and stalks stay down for a few minutes and then slowly come back up.


The plant kingdom is divided into families, and the Sensitive Plant is a member of the Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ay) family. This is the legume family, which includes beans and peas. (Like other beans, the Sensitive Plant's seeds come in pods.) Plant families are divided into smaller groups, and each group is called a genus (JEE-nus). Mimosa is your plant's genus name.

A genus is made up of one or more species, and the genus Mimosa contains more than 400 species. The Sensitive Plant is the species Mimosa pudica.


The scientific name for a plant species usually comes from Latin or Greek words, and it has two parts: the genus name and the specific epithet. The name describes the species in some way. Mimosa pudica means "acts like someone who is shy." Below you can see what each part of the name means.


The genus name Mimosa is a Greek word for "a mimic," or "a copycat."

Specific Epithet

Pudica (poo-DEE-ca) is Latin for "shy."

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