Codariocalyx Motorius, Telegraph Plant Seed, Dancing Plant Tiaowu Cao
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Codariocalyx Motorius < 跳舞草 Tiao Wu Cao >
Common Name: Telegraph Plant, Dancing Plant, Semaphore Plant
Binomial name: Codariocalyx Motorius
Codariocalyx motorius (though often placed in Desmodium), known as the telegraph plant, dancing plant, or semaphore plant, is a tropical Asian shrub, one of a few plants capable of rapid movement; others include Mimosa pudica and the venus flytrap. It can even be found on the Society Islands, a remote chain of islands in the South Pacific. It produces small, purple flowers. This plant has small, lateral leaflets which move at speeds rapid enough to be perceivable with the naked eye. This is possibly a strategy to maximise light by tracking the sun. Each leaf is equipped with a hinge that permits it to be moved to receive more sunlight, but the weight of these leaves means the plant must expend a lot of energy in moving it. To optimise its movement, each large leaf has two small leaflets at its base. These move constantly along an elliptical path, sampling the intensity of sunlight, and directing the large leaf to the area of most intensity. Another hypothesis has been offered that the rapid movements are intended to deter potential predators.
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