En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 02, 2007

From: Los Altos, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Mimosa pudica or \
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I don't have a picture of a flower but I'm looking for a flower that I was told was called earthquake flower. It blooms at night. Could you help me?


Mr. Smarty Plants found a plant called "Earthquake Plant", Mimosa pudica. It apparently closes its leaves hours before an earthquake. (It closes its leaves at night as well, so this behavior is only going to be predictive during daylight hours.) Its properties were supposedly discovered by the Japanese and they are capitalizing on this discovery by selling a kit with seeds, etc.

You can read more about M. pudica from the Biology Department of the University of Miami and the US Forest Service. This "sensitive plant" and its seismonastic properties were features as Plant of the Week on the Union County College (New Jersey) web page.

You can find still more information about the Earthquake (or Sensitive) plant, Mimosa pudica, by "Googling" its botanical name.


More Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification
March 11, 2009 - Hello. I don't know if this is a North American native plant, but here's my question: I have a soft, low groundcover that looks like a miniature version of Foxtail Fern. Lowe's folks suggested it m...
view the full question and answer

Purple wildflowers near Lake Tahoe
November 30, 2009 - I have been tasked with a challenge to find the plant that is "dark purple wild flowers at Lake Tahoe and are a magnificent thing to see in the fall. Interestingly, these wild mountain lake flowers w...
view the full question and answer

Removing non-native plants appearing in Austin in early spring
March 14, 2012 - In order to know which plants to keep and which to remove, is there a source to look up and identify common non-native plants that are seen in Austin about this time of the year (late winter, early Sp...
view the full question and answer

Sending a picture of an oak from Yorktown TX
December 02, 2011 - How I can I send a pic of my oak in Yorktown near Cuero?
view the full question and answer

Visual differences among members of the Apiaceae
July 21, 2012 - What is the visual difference between queen anne's lace and hemlock and cowslip parsley? I live in Marin county, California and have often been confused as to which is what? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center