5. Catclaw Brier
The Catclaw Brier (Mimosa nuttallii), also known as the Sensitive Brier, is a herbaceous perennial legume. The ribbed stems of this plant usually grow to 4 ft. or more and are branched. Plants rarely reach more than 1-2 ft. in height. The frond-like leaves are alternate with prickly stalks. The tiny flowers occur in congested bunches. Before they open, they look much like small green bramble fruits. Other common names for this plant include Nuttall’s sensitive briar and Shame-boy, a reference to the sensitive foliage that closes upon touch.
4. Squirting Cucumber
Ecballium elaterium, also called the squirting cucumber or exploding cucumber, is a plant in the cucumber family. It gets its unusual name from the fact that, when ripe, it squirts a stream of mucilaginous liquid containing its seeds, which can be seen with the naked eye. It can move rapidly thus a rapid plant movement. It is native to Europe, northern Africa, and temperate areas of Asia. It is grown as an ornamental plant elsewhere, and in some places it has naturalized. It is suspected to provide food for the caterpillars. This plant, and especially its fruit, is poisonous. In the ancient world it saw use as an abortifacient. In Turkey, the fresh fruit juice of this plant is directly applied into the nostrils for the treatment of sinusitis as a herbal / folk remedy.
Impatiens containing over a thousand species is a vibrant World of Busy Lizzies, Balsams, and touch-me-nots. Some species are annual plants and produce flowers from early summer until the first frost, while perennial species, found in milder climates, can flower all year. Regardless of their lifespan, the largest impatiens grow up to about 2 meters tall, but most are less than half as tall. The leaves are entire and shiny; their upperside has a thick, water-repellent cuticula that gives them a greasy feel. These plants derives their scientific name Impatiens and the common name “touch-me-not” in reference to their seed capsules. When the capsules mature, they “explode” when touched, sending seeds several meters away. This mechanism is also known as “explosive dehiscence”; thus having a rapid plant movement.
2. Venus Flytrap
The Venus Flytrap is a small plant whose structure can be described as a rosette of four to seven leaves, which arise from a short subterranean stem that is actually a bulb-like object. Each stem reaches a maximum size of about three to ten centimeters, depending on the time of year; longer leaves with robust traps are usually formed after flowering. The Venus Flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, is a carnivorous plant that catches and digests animal prey—mostly insects and arachnids. Its trapping structure is formed by the terminal portion of each of the plant’s leaves and is triggered by tiny hairs on their inner surfaces. When an insect or spider crawling along the leaves contacts a hair, the trap closes if a different hair is contacted within twenty seconds of the first strike. The requirement of redundant triggering in this mechanism serves as a safeguard against a waste of energy in trapping objects with no nutritional value.
Drosera, commonly known as the sundews, comprise one of the largest genera of carnivorous plants, with at least 188 species. Sundews are characterised by the glandular tentacles, topped with sticky secretions, that cover their laminae. All species of sundew are able to move their tentacles in response to contact with digestible prey. The tentacles are extremely sensitive and will bend toward the center of the leaf in order to bring the insect into contact with as many stalked glands as possible. According to Charles Darwin, the contact of the legs of a small gnat with a single tentacle is enough to induce this response. This response to touch is known as thigmonasty, and is quite rapid in most species. Sundews form prostrate or upright rosettes between 1 centimeter and 1 meter in height. Climbing species form scrambling stems which can reach much longer lengths. Sundews have been shown to be able to achieve a lifespan of 50 years. One important feature is although it has an aggressive carnivorous behavior, it doesn’t depend on it for nutrients at all, but derive them from soil.