Sleeping Grass

On my weekend wander a while ago I discovered one of my old favourite plants, first encountered as a subject of study in Botany, back at Auckland University under the tutelage of Professor Chapman, and later rediscovered growing wild in Solomon Islands, where in the West it was known as sleeping grass, or duduli puta, in Roviana. Its scientific name is Mimosa pudica and it has the remarkable ability to fold up its pinnate leaves and branches when touched.  It is considered to be a weed and I was disappointed to learn that it is another species introduced to the Pacific from South America.  I cannot imagine for what reason unless, like me, someone was delighted enough with it to cultivate it just for the fun of it.  It has a pretty pale magenta flower.  I found a whole field of it in flower on the reclaimed land near my home.  I dug up a small plant to grow in my garden.  I don’t know if the gardener will let me keep it. 

The area of reclaimed land I mentioned used to be a mangrove swamp.  It was part of an arm of the river that defined Suva point.  Now it is being developed for flats, presumably for students at the nearby University of the South Pacific (USP). The photo (photo #1) at right, of the lady fishing from the bank, was taken on the remaining part of the arm of the river.  I took it from the bus that goes past Suva point to Nabua.  That is one of the good things about riding in a bus with no windows. 

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About Alan

Settling into my 7th decade and still determined not to grow up too soon.
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