Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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?

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
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Identification of tree bought from a magazine ad
August 11, 2013 - I recently submitted the following question to Ask An Expert. They were unable to identify the plant. I hope you will be able to. Can you help me by either identifying this plant or advising me a...
view the full question and answer

ID for two flowers blooming in November in Buda TX
November 29, 2015 - two different plants growing in my wild area. 1. springs of tiny yellow flowers atop almost foot tall woody stem. 2. Clump of tiny near white bud like flowers. clump about 6 to 8 inches across on ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
October 12, 2010 - Have two clippings from Monday the 11th that were growing out of small stumps. Tried to send you pictures of both cuttings of leaves. If you could tell me what you think they are, I would be thankful...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
April 25, 2009 - What is: square stalk perennial with bright yellow flowers at the top (mainly)? Starts growing first thing in spring, invades surrounding areas, puts out long serrated leaves along the 7-8 ft stalks....
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 10, 2014 - I am trying to identify a wildflower that has popped up after a big rain. It is under a foot tall---blooms a yellow bloom in the evenings. It has long narrow leaves sort of like a rosemary. It grows f...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.