As children, we know the world is alive and full of magic. We know without a doubt that there is life to be discovered around every corner. Each flower, leaf, and tree seems to be inhabited and reaching out. But somehow as we grow older the magic seems to fade bit by bit.
There are certain plants however that continue to reach out, sneaking carefully into our adult worlds and filling them again with magic and wonder. The truth is that the plants didn’t change, our perceptions of them did. The Telegraph Plant and Sensitive Plant are two plants that help remind us how alive the world remains.
Also known as Dancing grass, the Telegraph Plant (Codariocalyx motorius) responds to sound, especially higher frequencies. It is one of a few plants that is capable of rapid movement. When music is played next to the Telegraph Plant, its leaves begin to swing up or down in an elliptical orbit. This movement makes the plant look as if it is dancing in tandem to the beat being played.
The Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica) responds to touch. When touched the leaves fold in and the branches depress to the ground. This quick movement is often surprising to onlookers as very few plants are capable of such rapid response. The leaves of the Sensitive Plant also close as the sun goes down, making it appear to fall “asleep.”
Embracing the Plant World
The greenhouse at Sunrise Springs is home to both the Telegraph Plant and Sensitive Plant. They offer a moment for each guest to step back, slow down and tune into the magic of the living world once again. Whether you have the opportunity to engage with one of these magical plants, or have a house plant in your room, take time to reach out and reconnect to the living world once again. You may be surprised at how quickly your childlike sense of wonder is restored!
Danielle Simmons, Horticulture and Animal Interactions
Inspired by her childhood experience of play in the forests of upstate New York, Danielle has devoted her career to connecting human wellness with a deeper engagement to the natural world. Danielle planted and manages the greenhouse and the garden beds at Sunrise. She enjoys teaching guests the many uses of herbs, from first aid to making herbal teas and salves. When she is not being inspired by the big trees and abundant water at Sunrise, she is enjoying time with her family and their organic garden, which they tend on their homestead south of Santa Fe.