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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.

Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Sensitive Plant.
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: 
August 17, 2001 to October 4, 2001July 12, 2002 to October 9, 2002July 25, 2003 to October 9, 2003September 10, 2004 to October 26, 2004July 20, 2005 to October 25, 2005August 1, 2006 to October 27, 2006August 16, 2007 to September 28, 2007August 1, 2008 to October 31, 2008August 4, 2009 to October 6, 2009August 31, 2010 to November 1, 2010August 16, 2011 to October 13, 2011August 7, 2012 to October 1, 2012August 21, 2013 to October 10, 2013August 6, 2014 to September 12, 2014July 28, 2015 to October 1, 2015July 18, 2018 to October 17, 2018

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