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#2848: Botany for children: many replies

From: Perdue and Persinos <vtandwi@erols.com>

With this description one can only offer an educated guess and mine is that the
little plant is a species of Cassia.  Several species of this genus react in
this way and those that do have also been treated as species of Chamaecrista.
They are members of the pea family and are also known as "sensitive plant" or
"sensitive pea".

Bob Perdue


From: TESHSTEH@aol.com

This sounds a lot like the "Sensitive Plant" (Mimosa pudica) that my mother 
use to grow in Iowa where they are annuals and must be started from seed 
every year.  Kids always called it the shame on you plants as we use to say 
"shame on you, you naughty thing" in a loud whisper.  If you whispered loud 
enough and close enough (or if you could get by with cheating by touching it 
with your lips) the plant would fold its leave together.  I also learned at 
an early age that if I peed on it, the whole plant would fold up, not just a 
branch--unfortunately my mother caught me and taught a few things about shame 
on naughty things.


From: PotteryRN@aol.com

This plant description is known as a Sensitivity Plant in Northern 
Michigan... likes water, fragile, beautiful small white flowers..... same one?


From: Moibibi@aol.com

I am not Paul Paryski but I'll try to give you the answer.

I think you're speaking of the mimosa pudica, called "wont" ou "kapris"  and 
probably the name you gave, that I personally never heard of.

Bébé Pierre Louis


From: Steven Zurcher <szurcher@aloha.com>

>What is the English/French, or botanical
>name of that little plant in Haiti?
I've seen the plant sold in the U.S. and labelled "Sensitivity Plant".

On the Plateau Central the locals called it "zeb ront", or shame weed.


From: Jepiem@aol.com

The name may vary according to locality. In the area where I grew up it was 
called "Wont" for "Honte" or properly translated, Bashful, referring to the 
way the plant sort of closes itself up once touched, like a shy virgin. This 
plant can be found in some Florida nurseries. I don't know what it's called 
here but I can find out what the spanish people here call it if you're 
     Math Jerome


From: chris-shelane <chris-shelane@globelsud.net>

It sounds to me like 'ti fi, fenmen janm ou' is a plant which grows in 
England and is called, imaginatively, the sensitive plant, and I believe 
the latin name is mimosa. I have seen plants which resemble it in Haiti, 
but never one which actually closes when touched.

chris chapman