Common Name: Touch-me-not. Sensitive plant. Tamil Name: Thottachurungi, Thottavadi
Touch-me-not is native to the tropical American region, the plant is a prickly sub-shrub. It grows to a height of about 1 feet in height. The branching is mostly close to the ground level- it can cover ground quickly and densely. The leaves are bi-pinnate; two pinnae are present; the number of leaflets vary- generally are between 17-20 pairs. The branches are covered with recurved prickles; the branches have purple patches all over. The leaflets are elliptic in shape with a acute tip and are sessile ; they measure around 2 mm each; the margins are ciliated. The inflorescence is axillary, the flower heads are pink and round in shape and measure around 1 cm each. The fruit is in the form of dark pods which are seen bunched on the leaf axis.. The pod measure around 2 cm each. The leaflets of this plant are sensitive to touch and fold up when disturbed. The plant has assumed invasive proportions in several parts of the world. The plant has high nitrogen fixing potential. Sometimes planted as an ornamental plant. Touch-me-not is the larval host plant for Tailless blue, Yellow pansy, Blue pansy and Common grass yellow butterflies.