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Sensitive Plant

Mimosa pudica

Seeds of the sensitive plant were sown by Thomas Jefferson in an oval flower bed at Monticello on March 22, 1811. The seeds had been sent by Philadelphia nurseryman, Bernard McMahon, who discussed the plant in his 1806 The American Gardener's Calendar. McMahon wrote, "The sensibility of this plant is worthy of admiration, that ... [with] the least touch, ... the leaves just like a tree a dying, droop and complicate themselves immediately ... so that a person would ... think they were really endowed with the sense of feeling."

This plant is a tender, flowering shrub grown as an annual with wide mats of finely textured leaves that close when touched and small pink, pompon flowers in summer.

Further Sources

Growth Type: 
Annual
Color(s): 
Pink
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9, Zone 10
Location at Monticello: 
West Lawn
Planting Conditions: 
Full Sun
Blooming History: 
2001 Aug 17 to 2001 Oct 42002 Jul 12 to 2002 Oct 92003 Jul 25 to 2003 Oct 92004 Sep 10 to 2004 Oct 262005 Jul 20 to 2005 Oct 252006 Aug 1 to 2006 Oct 272007 Aug 16 to 2007 Sep 282008 Aug 1 to 2008 Oct 312009 Aug 4 to 2009 Oct 62010 Aug 31 to 2010 Nov 12011 Aug 16 to 2011 Oct 132012 Aug 7 to 2012 Oct 12013 Aug 21 to 2013 Oct 102014 Aug 6 to 2014 Sep 122015 Jul 28 to 2015 Oct 12018 Jul 18
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Sensitive Plant.

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