Sensitive plant with leaves open

Sensitive plant with leaves open

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Credit: J.C. REVY, ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sensitive plant (not stressed). Image 2 of 2. View of the normal, open leaves of the sensitive plant, Mimosa pudica. It can react to stress by performing a leaf curl and close within a matter of seconds. The leaf curl is a natural reaction against either biological stress (such as touch or fungus infection) or non-biological stress such as heat or drought. Rapid leaf movement is brought about by physiological changes in the plant's cells. Electrical impulses emerge from damaged cells. These cause water-containing vacuoles (that usually maintain the plant's rigidity) to release water and cause the leaves to curl. See image B740/228 for a stressed plant.

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