J.C. REVY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J.C. REVY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sensitive plant (stressed). Image 1 of 2. View of the closed and curled-up leaves of a sensitive plant, Mimosa pudica. It can react to stress by performing this leaf curl and close within a matter of seconds. This is a natural reaction against either biological stress (such as touch or fungus infection) or non-biological stress such as heat or drought. Such 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 B740/229 for non-stressed plant.
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