The mimosa pudica plant looks like any other irksome weed — until you touch it. That's when it earns its multiple nicknames (the Sensitive plant, the Sleepy plant, and the Shame plant, to name a few) as it curls into itself, like a real-life shrinking violet. Hit play on the video below to see it in action. A native of Central and South America, mimosa pudica will also fold up if it's shaken and at sunset. Sleepy indeed, just like us on a Friday afternoon! (And don't worry about offending it; it will return to normal just a few minutes later.)
You can grow mimosa pudica from or even find it full-size (and ready to thwack) at . We asked mimosa pudica plant expert and researcher , a Research Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia, how to care for it. Her advice: "This is a tropical plant, so a nice sunny position indoors is good, though you can move her outdoors in summer if it's warm enough. She likes moist soil but not water-logged, so don't drown her." Gagliano also notes that the plant is invasive in the tropics, so keep her in a roomy private pot.
Watch it in action: