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How do plants move?

How do plants move?

If you were to describe a plant, ‘movement’ would not be one of the first characteristics. Plants are sedentary which means they are fixed to one place. But they do move, only not at a speed that we can perceive. We should imagine that plants function on a different timescale compared to us. Time and life progress many times slower for plants than for us humans. Because of this we don’t see the changes in plants and assume that plants don’t move. But they actually move quite a lot: they grow, crawl, climb and flower. A good way to help realise this is to look at a time-lapse video.

Dance for me

The dancing plant

There are some plants that we can see moving. Codariocalyx motorius, better known as the dancing plant, moves its leaves at regular intervals as if it were dancing. The plant only ‘dances’ in the presence on sunlight and seems to be searching for the strongest source of sunlight. Exposing the plant to sound is even more exceptional, high frequencies in particular can induce movement form the leaves.

Don’t touch me

– The sensitive plant –

The Mimosa pudica (pudica meaning shy) or touch-me-not is able to react swiftly to contact. Upon being touched the leaflets fold and go hanging.  It is mechanism of defence against herbivores.

colour the dancing plant

The flower of the dancing plant is bright pink. Can you draw your own flower on this colouring picture?

Download the picture here.

Colour the sensitive plant

The touch-me-not- sensitive plant has very thin green leaves. Can you colour within the lines?


Download the picture here.