The Q&A Archives: cobariocalyx Matorius

Questioner's Location: Beaverton, OR
Date: September 28, 2005

Question: Bought a seed starting kit for a friend of mine for her birthday. When it was recieved, the intructions were all in Chinese. The seeds are for the Cobariocalyx Matorius. Is there anything in particular about this flowering plant that she needs to know?
Thank you

Answer: Cobariocalyx matorius is also marketed under the name Desmodium roylei and is commonly called the Dancing Plant because when exposed to bright sunshine, the leaves move up and down and from side to side for two to three minutes at a time, and then pause. The leaves keep moving thus all through the day as long as there is bright sunshine. The movement stops in the evening after the sun has set.
Scientists believe that the leaves move in this fashion in bright sunlight to avoid getting overheated. This plant is from Asia and requires warm conditions. Soak the seeds for 12 hours. Plant at a depth of 3/8" using a soil mix and add 10% coarse sand to the mix. Keep warm, damp and in bright light. Germination is usually within 10 days. Best wishes with your new plant!

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