The Telegraph Plant (Codariocalyx motorius) is a plant capable of “dancing” or moving its leaves fast enough to seen by the naked eye! Very few plants are able to move in this manner.
These plants can be stimulated to move in response to changes in light, heat and even sound. Nobody really knows why the plant reacts and moves in the way it does. One theory is that is moves the leaves to maximize exposure to sunlight. Each leaf is equipped with a hinge that permits it to be moved to receive more sunlight, but the weight of these leaves means the plant must expend a lot of energy in moving it.
These images below show the plant moving, but they’ve been sped up because the plant doesn’t really move that fast:
However, there’s a video that shows the plant moving in real-time.
There’a also a theory that these movements may be a form of butterfly mimicry. The movement might prevent butterflies from landing on the plant’s leaves.
The common name “Telegraph Plant” comes from the fact the plant’s movements reminded people of a semaphore telegraph — a structure with adjustable paddles that could be seen from a distance.
Codariocalyx motorius is a small shrub in the Pea family. It is found natively throughout Asia.
The plant is described in detail in Charles Darwin’s 1880 The Power of Movement in Plants.
Where To Buy Telegraph Plant (Codariocalyx motorius) Seeds
The Telegraph Plant is relatively easy to grow. You can find seeds here: