The Mimosa species of plants began as a creeping annual plant in Central and South America and is still often used as a ground cover. The Mimosa pudica or Sensitive Plant is the variety most often grown as a houseplant. The Sensitive Plant has prickly delicate branches and feathery fronds that fold inward and droop when they are touched, shaken, or even blown on; these are called seismonic movements. The leaflets of a Sensitive Plant reopen in about half hour but fold up naturally each night. Although fun to watch, the opening and closing of the leaves weakens a Sensitive Plant if it occurs too often. Mimosa Pudica may produce tiny pink flowers that resemble little fluffy balls, but this occurs more often when it is planted outdoors than indoors. Mimosa pudica, Sensitive Plant is very poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 The Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants [Paperback]is an excellent reference to keep around if you have young children and pets. houseplant and should be kept away from small children and pets.
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