Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daun Semalu..Touch Me Not!...

These images are those of the Daun Semalu or Touch Me Not plant that grows wild. I found this one in front of our house and decide to capture it for all to see. When we were kids we would play touch and see the plant closed its leaves and if we take the trouble to wait it would unfold again before our eyes. Indeed a fascinating plant that is very sensitive to touch. The above image shows the flowers with an insects and the plants leaves start to fold and eventually all folded including the stem, like an insect that moved. Indeed the wonder of nature. Have a nice day.

Note: Scientific name as pointed by two anonymous comments - Mimosa pudica - See it on YouTube here .


Unknown said...

Touching it and seeing it close was part of the fun and learning !
Can't stop curious minds!!

Zendra-Maria said...


Something for our daughters who are in full bloom to learn from Pak Idrus. Close up when the nasty insects come! Am I being too possessive?

First time commenting here ....

louis said...

Hi Idrus,
This plant (Daum Sembilu) grew wild in Trinidad too. The common name for it was something like "ti Marie", which in the local patois I think meant something like "Auntie Mary".

We kids used to have fun touching it, to see it magically close its leaves. As we touched it we would chant a verse that said more or less: "Auntie, auntie, shut your door, the Boogieman (a fearsome spirit) is coming to get you".

Anonymous said...

For what I lernt the plant is called Semalu with the scientific name mimosa pudica. just would like to share the info.

Anonymous said...

Ijust want to share. The plant is called Semalu. scientific name is mimosa pudica

Pak Idrus said...

Keats The Sunshine Girl, thanks for the visit and sharing your experiences on the subject of this posting.

Indeed the experiences would linger with us the rest of our lives. Hope the present generation would get the opportunity to see and engaged with this wonderful plant.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Zendra, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

I have just made a correction; the name, it should be Semalu and not Sembilu, my mistake and a reader has just pointed that out. Hope that your kids would get the experience to get close to this wonder of a plant and appreciate of what nature had to offer to make our lives so colorful.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

louis, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts and experience on this wonder of a plant. True with myth your experiences and mine are the same at that early age. Indeed of how wonderful the mind of a child think at that early age. But as we get older we soon realized that is is just a myth. Anyway that is what makes living interesting.

A reader just pointed out my mistake on the name of this plant. It is Pokok Semalu [Semalu Plant] and it is Daun Semalu [Semalu leaves]. I got mixed up with Sembilu. Anyway Semalu is associated of been shy, I believe thus the name.

Indeed interesting folks of our generation experiences the same happening and belief, no matter which part of this planet we live.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Anonymous[4:03PM]Thanks for the visit and pointing my mistake on the name of this plant and sharing your knowledge on this wonder of a plant. I have made the correction.

At this age memory are not that perfect anymore. Thanks.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Anonymous[4:06PM] thanks for the visit and correcting my wrong. I have made correction.

Thanks as well for the additional information of this plant. Hope that others may benefit with this knowledge.

Have a nice day.l

mamasita said...

Yeah..those were the days when the Semalu plants kena harassed by people like peace for them..mesti touch and get the satisfaction of the Semalu shying away!

xplorer said...

you can actually tear the leaf without it closing.You can try it also pak idrus.need some practice and concentration of course.

Anonymous said...

This Touch-Me-Not, if you can grow it in a small pot, you could sell it as an "exotic plant" in the nurseries here in Canada. Probably a weed to you because of its sharp thorns, but because of its ability to close and open, it will be a real collector's item. But alas, too cold here for it to survive our winter, even indoors.

Adirya Kiratas

Unknown said...

Pak Idrus,
That's the only plant I can remember that is sensitive to touch; in fact that was example being used even during my UPSR!
Fascinating plant :)

Pokku said...

This mimosa is the plant that most East Coast kids my age grew up with.
Time to get a macro lens so you can get better close ups.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Salam Pak Idrus!

I've always loved the Mimosa plant as a child, but as I grew up, it became just another pesky thorny weed for me to remove.

Believe it or not, some online shopping sites like and are selling little pots of mimosa plants.

I fear for the impact it would have on the native ecology and biodiversity of the host country if the plant managed to breed and thrive, as it no doubt will since it is a hardy weed. It might end up wiping out many species of indigenous grasses, mosses and wildflowers since they grow faster and their roots go down deeper.

Best regards,

Pak Idrus said...

mamasita, thanks for the visit and sharing your experiences on the subject of this posting. Interesting eh! that we all behave the say way when we were kids. It was fun then and we all did enjoy our childhood. How I wished my grandchildren go through those adventure as well. Anyway it a different world now, what with the computers games and all.

Well it look like you have to go an apologized for harassing them. They too have feeling you know!.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

xplorer, thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

It look like you are among those that did not escape the pull of this enchanting plants. So you much have had an exciting time trying to pull the leave without it closed. Good experiences I supposed. Thanks for that additional information.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Anonymous [Adirya Kiratas] thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

As to your suggestion to commercialized it I believe it has already been done. BTW did you watch the video. I never thought that they have planted it in a pot and placed it in the living room. Interesting Eh!. I might try it here and see what happen!.

Have a nice day

Pak Idrus said...

Akmal, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

On second thoughts yes maybe it is the only plants that we see here that is sensitive to touch. There are others I am sure but have not seen it as yet. Would have to check.

Fascinating, yes indeed. It is always there somewhere but most of the time we just ignored it, anyway it is good to take a look of it from time to time. To enjoy nature at its best.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Pokku, thanks for the visit and sharing your thought on the subject of this posting.

Yes on the east coast this plants are everywhere and of course we do play with it and indeed have fun but at time get pierced by the thorn of the plant.

As of the Macro lens, I have gone to have a look and it cost more then the body of the camera. I would be getting that after scouting for the right price. It would surely be great to capture those moment with the Macro Lens.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Covert_Operations'78, Ee Lynn thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on this interesting plants.

Yes I did some research and found that it has been commercialized. But then that is the nature of the system. Like you I am worried as to the effect it would have on the ecological aspect of the spread of this plants. Indeed it is a hardy plant that need no tending and grows well under hardy condition. Maybe we should look seriously on this issue.

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pak Idrus,

I used to pluck the purple flowers and shred them for my masak-masak with my little friends. And we also added another plant which I've not seen for a longest time. It came with a long strand of leaves ( maybe not that long, but in a little kiddy's eyes, everything magnified)and came with a tiny white ball.Little kids during my time, named this plant fishball. We put the shreded purple strands together with the 'fishballs' in our little masak-masak bowls and added water. There, a bowl of fishball noodle.. Hee..hee..


Mr Bojangles said...

This plant is like a bashful maiden shying away from strangers.

Very unlike the possessive 'wait-a-bit' bush plant in Africa which, once it snares you, won't let go. The more you struggle to get away, the tighter its grip!

I'm sure many remember it from "The Gods must be crazy" movie.

The diversity on our wonderful earth!

Pak Idrus said...

Anonymous[Yvonne] thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

Great that you brought up the subject of Main Masak Masak for it does trigger my thoughts of my childhood seeing my younger sister playing Masak Masak and at time I do join in to play. What an interesting time we kids had at that period of our lives. So you went one step further by using the bunga Semalu for your dish. Indeed a creative way of Masak Masak. I am not sure as to the other plants that you use. Anyway thanks for highlighting this to our readers.

Have a nice day,

Pak Idrus said...

Mr Bojangles, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting. As well adding new input to this wonder of a plant. Indeed a shy one.

Everyone that comment was touched by the plants and I am sure you have your share of enjoyment as well. As for the movie 'The God must be crazy' I did enjoy the episode of that movie and at time would still laugh/amused when thinking of it. Well the plant you mentioned 'possessive' I have not seen it before. Have to do some research on it. It is getting interesting, that nature had to offer us.

Have a nice day.

aiza said...

thanks for this post. It reminded me of my childhood..playing with the 'semalus'

Pak Idrus said...

aiza, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

I am indeed glad this posting did brought back great memories of your childhood.

Have a nice day.