The leaves unfold again after only a few minutes.
Plants have a spreading habit, and make a thick groundcover if allowed to spread. They grow about 1.5 feet tall and several feet wide. Stems will root as they creep along the ground and young plants will spring up from fallen seed. The plant can become invasive in warm climates.
In late summer through fall, the plants are covered with lavender-pink flowers.
One theory about why Mimosa pudica evolved its sensitivity is that it was a way to avoid being eaten by herbivores. Grazing animals would brush by the plant and, after all the leaves folded, it would appear there was nothing there to eat, so the animals would move on to more lush and leafy plants.
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