Saturday, March 31, 2012

Trees with different responses!

In my childhood, I have been shown the plant, ' Touch-me-not' as a wonder, whenever our family visited Courtallam (the hilly and holly tourist centre, The Spa of Southern India). Now I am able to see that the tropical trees too exhibit such response to environmental stimuli! See here how this Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) responds to the touch by rain drops:

Its leaves close together to prevent themselves from becoming drenched. As soon as the sun shines after the rain the leaves unfold. Note that these leaves close also everyday at evening and unfold at morning with the sunrise. It likes only the sun as do the sunflower plant! It is a wonder tree that thrives well in tropics and subtropics.
See also here the just opposite response from these saplings of the
Flamboyant tree (Royal poinciana, Gulmohar, Delonix regia):

Their leaves are here widely opened as there has been drizzles on them then. When sun shines on them stronger, they fold their leaves down! This is an act of desert plants, as we know - for conserving water.
These different responses of these two tropical trees are due to their different rooting system. Mesquite tree has deep rooted system with which it obtains plenty of water; thus it hates rain and loves sun! But the Flamboyant tree has only a surface rooted system; this system provides it with water from the surface soil that is soaked only during rains and dried by sun at other times. So, it loves rain rather than the hot sun.
These are the
wonder responses from these two wonder trees that I view from my window whenever there is rain or sunshine!

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