5 Seeds Desmodium gyrans Telegraph Plant Seeds
Desmodium gyrans “Telegraph Plant” Telegraph Plant, Syn. Codariocalyx motorius
Desmodium gyrans is well known as the “Telegraph Plant” and famous for its movement. The small lateral leaflets will rotate on their axis, moving in jerky motions under the slightest influence of touch, sunshine, warmth or small vibrations. At night they droop downwards.
The plant is native to Asia, easy to raise from seed it will soon make a small shrub, but it is not hardy, preferring indoor temperatures of 22 to 35*C (71 to 95*F). The soil must be kept consistently moist, without drying out between watering. The perfect place for this plant is a light shade, since a direct sun is far too strong for its delicate nature. The foliage is very simple; it has a very airy look to it with delicate stems that bear the leaves. It is a fascinating plant, perfect for children to grow and have fun with, the plants really do 'dance' in their own way.
A study done in 1998 says the movements are caused by the swelling and shrinking of motor cells in special organs buried deep within the leaves. The movement of water molecules causes the motor cells in the leaves to shrink or swell and, as the water enters and exits, the plant's leaflets twitch. Experts say there is no particular sound it reacts to, though some believe that it does not respond well to electronic sounds.