This last year I was lucky enough to visit Disney’s Epcot Greenhouses at The Land Pavilion with a personal tour from Disney horticulturalist Les Frey!
Les is fantastic and a wealth of information! Frey has 18 years of horticultural experience here at The Land Pavilion and from that, an amazing institutional knowledge of all its gardening projects. Frey currently supervises the intern program as well as manages the lab and greenhouses.
On first glance it probably looks like any other plant. Well at least it did to me. Imagine my surprise when Les touched it!
The Mimosa pudica is a sensitive plant. It immediately reacts to touch. In this case it closes up and wilts beginning where the touch began. It’s really remarkable. Check out the video below!
Les explained this is one of the self defense mechanisms for the plant against insects and other predators. The reaction of the movement, according to Wikipedia, “occurs when specific regions of cells lose turgor pressure, which is the force that is applied onto the cell wall by water within the cell vacuoles and other cell contents. When the plant is disturbed, specific regions on the stems are stimulated to release chemicals which force water out of the cell vacuoles and the water diffuses out of the cells, producing a loss of cell pressure and cell collapse”
Here is a great time-lapse video showing the blooms popping up and falling away each day.
I had never heard of such a plant. Although I photograph flowers all the time, I am always learning. One of the other lovely surprises I enjoy about the Mimosa are the lovely pink blooms! The Mimosa is actually a common plant and can be grown at home. For more information visit: http://www.bio.miami.edu/mimosa/mimosa.html I may just have to get one of my own.
For more information on Disney’s Epcot Greenhouses at The Land visit; http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/attractions/living-with-the-land/
For an The Photo Garden Bee’s multiple post In depth look visit: http://thephotogardenbee.com/?s=Disney+epcot
Britt : )