Sensory plants

“…Crush of the long descent, grip

of the steadying hands, brush of breath

against cheek, even the constant barrage

of the microscopic, the tiny plink-plink

of the dust motes knocking against him.”

 -Trevor West Knapp (Touch)

Nothing can be more appealing than the allure of a plant that reacts to your touch. The visual of the plant either curling up or shrinking incites unhindered pleasure from children and adults alike. What about planting thigmotropic plants to create a unique gardening experience? These thigmotropics are sure to take care of the need for variety in your garden, along with capturing the attraction of onlookers.

Thigmotropism is a movement in which the plant moves or grows in response to touch or contact stimuli. Thigmotropism is generally an outcome of the plants growing around a surface, such as a wall, pot, or trellis. Climbing plants, such as vines, develop tendrils that coil around supporting objects.

Sensory Plants To Have In Your Garden:

Let us have a glance at some of these thigmotropics that you can have in your garden.

Touch Me-Notsensory plants

 Also known as Mimosa Pudica, Touch-me-not is a native resident of Central America. Often regarded as a sensitive plant, the plant is cultivated to let the person immerse in the sheer joy of witnessing the movement of the leaves. The term “Pudica” has emanated from Latin which refers to shy, bashful or shrinking. It undergoes leaf orientation which is widely known as “sleep” or nyctinastic movement. The inward folding of the leaves is the innate strategy of protecting itself from predators. The leaves lock as a response towards the stimuli of touching, warming, blowing, or shaking. These types of movements are regarded as seismonastic movements.

Passion Flowersensory plants

The Passion vine or Passion flower is a member of the Passifloraceae family. Some of the species are herbaceous while others are mostly vines. The voluminous structure of the passion flower compels it to be pollinated via large bees, especially the carpenter bees, which are ideal for achieving the goal of optimal pollination.

Did you know? The sword-billed humming birds have co-evolved with certain species of humming birds which can be traced to their prolonged bill that accelerates the process of pollination.

Money Plantsensory plants

While the streaks of yellow meandering wildly through the leaves of the money plant (Epipremnum aureum) produce a vivacious visual appeal, steer clear of planting money plants if you are planning on maintaining a pet-friendly garden or you have children. It has adverse effects if consumed, owing to its toxic properties resulting in vomiting, difficulty in swallowing, and oral irritation among pets.

Japanese Honeysuckle

sensory plants

Japanese Honeysuckle forms a tall, dense, woody shrub layer that aggressively displaces native plants. It is also very difficult to manage in semi-wild areas, such as large rural yards. It can be regulated through labour-intensive methods of cutting or burning the plant to root level and repeating at two-week intervals until nutrient stored in the roots are dwindles away. Another method of regulation can be achieved through annual applications of glyphosate or through grubbing if high labour and soil destruction doesn’t feature in your priority list.

Periwinklesensory plants

Periwinkles are the common name for Catharanthus. The term “Catharanthus” traces its origin from Greekwhich means “pure flower”. Perwinkles are perennial herbs with a system of oppositely arranged leaves.

Did you know? Periwinkles are the sources of vinca alkaloids which find application in the treatment of cancer.

You can also plant clematis, morning glory, bindweeds or ivy to play touch-and-watch with your plant. Make these plants a member of the diverse flora in the garden and let them take you on a ride of a unique sensory experience.

Enjoy planting sensory species folks and as always, happy gardening!

Happy Gardening

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