Telegraph plant
In autumn, this plant bears a raceme and an orange-tinged light yellow flower blooms on it, but it is inconspicuous.  The legume ripens to dark tan and drops down glossy flat seeds which are a few mm in diameter.  Its reef is pinnately trifoliolate leaf, the terminal leaflet at the tip of the stem is 5 to 10 cm in length and hang downwards, and a pair of lateral leaflets at the side of the stem are very small and 1 to 2 cm in length and rise upwards.
The name of Telegraph plant came from the dancing leaves, but it does not mean that all leaves move and the terminal leaf does not move.  When The sunlight becomes strong and the temperature goes up more than 25 °C, the lateral leaflet slowly starts a rotating movement and the level of the movement reaches its maximum at around 30 °C.  The joint-like part at the base of the lateral leaf detects a stimulation and causes the water movement in the cell to change the turgor pressure (meaning the pressure which the cell membrane presses the cell wall from inside) to cause the rotating movement.  However, it is completely unknown why such a spontaneous movement is caused.  On the other hand, at the International Garden and Horticulture Exhibition held in Kunming, China, this plant was introduced as a plant which reacted to a woman's high tone voice and moved like dancing to its sounds.  In fact, it can react to a sound but it is thought that it is too highly-skilled for a plant to dance to a singing voice.
Classification Fabaceae Codariocalyx
Scientific name Codariocalyx motorius (= Desmodium gyrans, D. motorium)
Japanese name Maihagi
English name Telegraph plant
Native locality India to Philippines
Ecological description Evergreen shrub
RDB ---
Planting place Sun Gallery
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