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touch-me-not, putri malu

Mimosa pudica


This invasive weed (origin: Central & South America) is found throughout Papua along roads, trails and on cleared land. It is a sensitive plant with leaves that fold up at night and when touched, hence its personified names in many languages (e.g. "putri malu" in Indonesian = "shy maiden") which refer to this attribute.


This species is visible lining almost all of the unshaded sections of the entire north coast road in Papua, and this spotting was photographed along this road.


In the last photo I touched the plant and it folded up so tight one can barely see it (upper right of photo).

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Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 11 years ago

Scott many biologists caused wide distribution of this interesting herb... They are growing exotically in many countries. Fabaceae family is already a Global presence family...!!

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 11 years ago

I don't think so in Papua anyway because it is an invasive and only arrived here "recently"... It does apparently contain some active ingredients...

JungleLoveMamasita 11 years ago

This look similar to the mimosa plants that grow everywhere in Costa Rica. Does the putri malu have any medicinal uses? The mimosa can be used as a mild sedative.

Scott Frazier
Spotted by
Scott Frazier

Papua, Indonesia

Spotted on Sep 23, 2011
Submitted on Sep 25, 2011

Spotted for Mission

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