One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tropical Asian plant of the pea family, whose leaves have a spontaneous jerking motion. It is sometimes grown as a curiosity under glass.
Codariocalyx motorius (formerly Desmodium gyrans), family Leguminosae
- ‘According to a handout I picked up at the information kiosk, some drought-tolerant annuals including vinegar weed, Indian tobacco, tarweed, and telegraph plant may be seen in bloom during the summer months.’
- ‘The telegraph plant, Desmodium, exhibits a remarkable ` spontaneous’ gyration of the lateral leaflets, resulting from rhythmic up and down movements.’
- ‘As far as I know the seeds of the telegraph plant need to be scarified before soaking them for the 12 hours.’
- ‘Also, look for the golden yellow blooms of snakeweed, turpentinebush, goldeneyes, and telegraph plants.’
- ‘There is another celebrated instance in the telegraph plant, Desmodium gyrens of Bengal, whose leaflets keep moving all the time without any touch.’
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