Explore Plants

Share

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
    
 

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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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

Smarty Plants on wildflower identification
September 23, 2004 - Can you recommend a good CD-ROM on wildflower identification? I live in Virginia and am constantly frustrated trying to identify the myriad wildflowers I encounter as I move around the state.
view the full question and answer

Diamonds and Rubies plant (Lychnis coronaria)
May 02, 2007 - I recently purchased a plant from the Huntsville, AL Botanical Gardens at their annual plant sale. The name on the plant tag is "Rubies and Diamonds". No one at the Botanical Garden knew the scien...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree or shrub in Massachusetts
May 16, 2013 - Good morning, We are in Zone 5 and have a tree/shrub I cannot identify in the backyard of our new home. Tall (6')and growing, green stems,and when the stems are broken the branches smell of lemon o...
view the full question and answer

Identification of gourd plant growing in central California
August 10, 2012 - I am not sure if this flowering plant is native to North America. It is found in dry land grazing fields at about 100 feet in elevation in central California. It is large--2-6 feet across with a sti...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 15, 2010 - I bought a double knock-out rose bush and planted it in my yard. A year later a weed-like plant started growing beside it. It has very thorny leaves, stems and stalk. Little purple flowers are grow...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.