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#2848: Botany for children: many replies
From: Perdue and Persinos <email@example.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
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.
This plant description is known as a Sensitivity Plant in Northern
Michigan... likes water, fragile, beautiful small white flowers..... same one?
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>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.
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
From: chris-shelane <email@example.com>
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.