The Telegraph Plant (Codariocalyx
motorius, often placed in
Desmodium , also known as Semaphore Plant,
is a tropical Asian shrub, one of a few plants
capable of rapid movement; others include Mimosa
and the Venus Flytrap.
Darwin called the plant Hedysarum; modern
botanists call it either Desmodium gyrans or,
more correctly these days, Codariocalyx motorius;
its common name is Dancing Grass or Telegraph
plant or Semaphore plant -- after the leaf
movements, which resemble semaphore signals.
The Telegraph Plant also known as
Dancing Plant or Curiosity Plant or
Semaphore plant, is a tropical Asian shrub known
for its slow movement of the small lateral
leaflets which are rotating on their axes and
jerking up and down with a period of about 3 to
The small clover type leaves will move in jerky
motions when under the influence of warmth,
sunshine, or touch. The sensitive leaves may
begin their movement at the slightest vibrations
such as music.
The movement of the terminal leaflet by means of
its sub-petiole or pulvinus is quite as rapid,
or even more so, than that of the main petiole,
and has much greater amplitude.
The moving object is recorded by a video
camera, digitized by a frame grabber of a
computer and the images stored and displayed on
the monitor screen.
Attractive waxy green leaves, small purple
flowers. Requires warm conditions. Requires
consistently moist soil; do not let dry out
The plant contains small
in leaf, stem, and root.The leaves of this plant
are sometimes used to make tea.
Chronobiology is the subject of the scientific
study of biological rhythms of circadian,
lunar/tidal and circannual frequencies.
Charles Darwin once wrote in his book, The
little leaflets never go to sleep, and this
seems to me very odd... They are at their games
of play as late as 11 o'clock at night and
Native habitat is widely
It can even be found on the
a chain of islands dotted remotely in the South
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