Rapid plant movement

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The Venus flytrap is one of a very small group of plants that are capable of rapid movement.

Rapid plant movement encompasses movement in plant structures occurring over a very short period, usually under one second. For example, the Venus flytrap closes its trap in about 100 milliseconds.[1] The dogwood bunchberry's flower opens its petals and fires pollen in less than 0.5 milliseconds. The record is currently held by the white mulberry tree, with flower movement taking 25 microseconds, as pollen is catapulted from the stamens at velocities in excess of half the speed of sound—near the theoretical physical limits for movements in plants.[2]

These rapid plant movements differ from the more common, but much slower "growth-movements" of plants, called tropisms.

In 1880 Charles Darwin published The Power of Movement in Plants, his last work before his death.

Plants that capture and consume prey[edit]

Plants that move leaves for other reasons[edit]

Mimosa pudica leaves closing after being touched

Plants that spread seeds or pollen by rapid movement[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Forterre, Y., J.M. Skotheim, J. Dumais & L. Mahadevan 2005. "How the Venus flytrap snaps." (PDF).  (318 KB) Nature 433: 421–425. doi:10.1038/nature03185
  2. ^ a b Taylor, P.E., G. Card, J. House, M. H. Dickinson & R.C. Flagan 2006. High-speed pollen release in the white mulberry tree, Morus alba L.. Sexual Plant Reproduction 19(1): 19–24. doi:10.1007/s00497-005-0018-9
  3. ^ Tony D. Auld (1996). "Ecology of the Fabaceae in the Sydney region: fire, ants and the soil seedbank" (PDF). Cunninghamia. 4 (4): 531–551. 
  4. ^ Matt Lavin (2001). "Fabaceae". Macmillan Reference USA. 
  5. ^ "Marantaceae in Flora of North America @". Efloras.org. Retrieved 2011-07-18.