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Leaves fold in response to touch: sensitive plant


Mimosa pudica, sensitive plant / Tarun Kant / LicenseCC-by-nc-nd - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

Leaves of the sensitive plant protect themselves from predators and environmental conditions by folding in response to touch.

"When the leaf is touched, it quickly folds its leaflets and pinnae and droops downward at the petiole attachment…The leaves also droop at night, and when exposed to rain or excessive heat. This response may be defenses against herbivorous insects, leaching loss of nutrients, or desiccation. The folds of different leaves are interconnected and compatible with each other, and the whole structure can be folded and unfolded from a single or multiple driving points." (Patil 2007: 19-23)
About the inspiring organism
Med_781888067_33c361d44a_o Mimosa pudica
Mimosa pudica L.
Common name: Shameplant

Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: ILDIS World Database of Legumes
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

IUCN Red List Status: Unknown

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Deployable surfaces such as solar panels, antennas, solar sails, folding tents, roof structures. Energy efficient and automated industrial manufacturing equipment.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Shipping, communications, energy, construction, manufacturing

Applied Mechanics Department
Hemant S. Patil
Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology
Patil, H. S.; Vaijapurkar, Siddharth. 2007. Study of the Geometry and Folding Pattern of Leaves of Mimosa pudica. Journal of Bionic Engineering. 4(1): 19-23.
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11 months ago
how can we use this technology to let our structures move in the natural way ?
Do these plants maintain temperature when they fold their leaves to protect themselves against environmental conditions? If yes, how?
Search TickleMe Plant to grow your own animated plant indoors and to watch the leaves fold up when Tickled.
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