People aren’t the only living creatures that love to dance. And we’re not talking about animals. Believe it or not, there is a plant that also enjoys grooving to the beat.
Codariocalyx motorius (or Desmodium gyrans), also known as the Telegraph plant or semaphore plant, is quite the fascinating plant! It is a tropical Asian shrub that has rapid plant movement—just like the Sensitive Plant and the Venus flytrap.The leaves move up and down rhythmically, as if the plant is dancing or sending out Telegraph message.
And best of all, you don’t need a time lapse camera to see the movements, as the rapid movements are visible to the naked eye. The plant is made up of a set of leaflets-one larger and two smaller leaflets that are connected by a “hinge,” which allows the leaflets to lift and rotate itself.
However, the plant will only “dance” where there is light. Just like a sunflower would turn its head towards the sunlight, the Codariocalyx motorius dances because it wants to absorb the most energy from the sun. Sometimes, the plant will react to the slightest of touch or small vibrations. In the evening or when it is dark, the leaves droop downwards.
The Telegraph Plant would be a fun houseplant for kids or anyone that amuses easily! Simply plant in fertile, well-drained soil and place in a sunny spot (full sun). The more sun the plant gets, the greener and larger the leaves will be. Be sure to keep the soil moist and try not to let the soil dry between watering. It will also produce small, purple flowers.
In the wild, these dancing plants are commonly in Asian countries such as, Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand. Interestingly, this plant also contains a wide variety of alkaloids that can be used to make pharmaceuticals.
Here is a video clip of the plant dancing:
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