My Tickle Me Plant By | October 28, 2014

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Earlier this month I received a video on whatsapp about a tiny little plant that, when someone brushing their fingers gently against its leaves, the leaves would collapse promptly and close up as a reaction to the touch. I’ve played the video several times in disbelief, never in my life have I seen plants react that way when touched. Needless to say I’ve sent the video to almost everyone I know on my whatsapp list. One of my friends even told me that she saw the plant in Asia and it was indeed real and did react that way to touch. I wanted to see the plant for myself, silly you think? Perhaps, but I really, really, really wanted one to interact with! 

A couple of days later and it seems that my wish had been granted, for there was a knock on my door and a small potted plant with a message was delivered. Apparently Home & Garden nursery in Kuwait did have the plant and one thing led to another and there it was, with a message on my door step! I couldn’t believe my eyes at first! How come we have the plant in Kuwait but never ever heard about it before? The most action we got out of plants in Kuwait was by twisting the petals of the flower they call “Fish mouth” and pretending it was an actual fish-flower-mermaid hybrid playing with us when we where children but this little plant, called Touch Me Not or Tickle Me plant (official scientific name is Memosa Pudica), is in an entirely different league of her own!

When my tickle me plant arrived it was almost sundown and the leaves looked all weird and shrivelled. For a moment I thought it was sick or perhaps welting away in the dessert climate of Kuwait. You see that all the time, plump fresh plants and shrubs looking all healthy and happy in the nurseries then you bring them home and a couple of days later they’ve shrivelled up and passed on. Apparently, the tickle me plant does indeed go to sleep at sundown and this is her way of turning off the lights and calling it a day! She was only sleeping <3

I was still skeptic and to be frank a bit too impatient to wait until the next day for the plant to wake it. The next day, the leaves where all full and green and bursting with life!  I spent a good hour playing with my shy plant, an hour I was supposed to be cooking lunch for starving me, but I felt no hunger at all and no time passing! The picture doesn’t do the plant justice, keep your eye on the middle bottom leaf, untouched still.

Now you see me, now you don’t! How cool is that!

Not very clear? Wait I have a video! Would you look at that?

A couple of weeks of living with my cool plant and its still green and shy! As a matter of fact a few days back I passed by to find thorny-looking pink flowers sprouting between the leaves, I guess that means the plant is happy and thriving.

Oh I forgot to mention that when I posted about my plant on instagram I got a few comments from followers who had grown up in Kuwait and had the plant growing in their school gardens! I don’t even recall having a garden in the 12 years I’ve went to schools in Kuwait but there you go, it does indeed grown in Kuwait and will be surviving the desert after all!

One follower actually told me they learned about the plant in biology class! We didn’t, we only learned about the amoeba and the hydra and dissected a poor frog and saw a bloody egg with a half-grown baby chick inside that put me off all eggs for a couple of years and whenever the mental image plays again -like right now- I can swear off eggs for a good while until I forgot all about it again. Nothing about cool plants that reacted to your touch, shying away and proving that plants does indeed have feelings! In any case, the plant would make a great gift especially to households with children and needs little attention and care, abroad there are even kits that you can use to grow your own Tickle Me plant but, well, lets be thankful we have the plant in the first place. Look for it in the Nurseries overlooking fourth ring road, especially at Home & Garden Nursery who gave me my own plant as a gift, here is their instagram account (@homeandgarden). Thank you Home & Garden, you truly made my month!

Have you met the Tickle Me Plant before, in Kuwait or abroad? What did you think?

2 Responses to “My Tickle Me Plant”

  1. Em says:

    Hiya! They’re called Touch me nots and they are quite popular in India :)