Telegraph plant Facts

Telegraph plant Facts
Telegraph plant is herbaceous plant that belongs to the pea family. It originates from Asia, but it can be found around the world today. Telegraph plant grows on the clayey, sandy and loamy soil, exposed to the full sun or in the partial shade. Thanks to the special type of cells (that can rapidly change their size), telegraph plant is able to move its leaves, which makes this species very popular both in the scientific community and among the plant lovers.
Interesting Telegraph plant Facts:
Telegraph plant is small bush that can reach 24 to 36 inches in height.
Telegraph plant produces green-colored, lanceolate leaves in two sizes: large and small. Two small leaves (leaflets) can be seen at the base of each large leaf.
Telegraph plant develops small, pinkish-white or purple flowers during the late autumn and early winter. Flowers attract bees and butterflies, which are responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Fruit of telegraph plant is brown pod filled with black, bean-like seeds.
Telegraph plant propagates via seed and stem cuttings.
Telegraph plant grows year round in the areas with warm climate. It undergoes period of dormancy during the winter in areas with temperate climate.
Small leaflets of telegraph plant move in elliptical pattern while they search appropriate amount of light. When they detect ideal position, large leaves start to move in the same direction (large leaves move less to prevent loss of energy).
Name "telegraph" or "semaphore plant" refers to the ability of leaflets to "inform" large leaves about the intensity of light based on their specific position. Just like the plant, structure called semaphore telegraph conveys messages via adjustable paddles that are located on top of this structure.
Telegraph plant is also known as "dancing plant" because of its leaflets which start to hover up and down after exposure to the high-pitched sounds (music).
Light-induced movement of leaves has a goal to increase absorption of light. Sound-induced movement of leaves remains a mystery. One of the potential explanations is that movement of leaves can ward off insects and potential predators (various herbivores).
Telegraph plant is not the only plant that can move its leaves, but unlike the other plants of this type, movement of its leaves is easily detectable by naked eye.
Charles Darwin had described unusual behavior of telegraph plant in his book "The Power of Movement in Plants" from 1880.
Root of telegraph plant is used in treatment of rheumatism, wounds, cough, malaria, dysentery and hepatitis. This plant contains toxic alkaloids and it needs to be consumed cautiously.
Telegraph plant is frequently cultivated both in the gardens and in the pots. Most people cultivate this plant because of its ability to "dance".
Telegraph plant is perennial plant (life span: more than 2 years).


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