Gyrans - Dancing Plants (Codariocalyx Motorius)

Dancing Plant

Dancing Plant/Telegraph Plant

What are Gyrans?

Gyrans are telegraphic plants with leaflets. Since discovery, they've been referred to as Desmodium gyrans, Desmodium motorium, Codariocalyx motorius and Hedysarum gyrans. It's a legume native to Asia and popular for its movements.

The plant is native to tropical countries in Southeast Asia such as India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos and Sri Lanka, among other countries. It's called Dudli in Hindi.

Gyrans Description

The plant has active compound leaves and larger leaflets at the terminal. Whereas smaller lateral leaflets move rhythmically within minutes, their larger counterparts move up and down the entire day. When exposed to music, Gyrans leaves tend to move faster.

The telegraph plant dances to different styles of music. However, movements the plant makes are natural, not music-triggered. The role of the plant is still mysterious despite being popular due to its movements. 'Pulvinus' ring cells are found at the base of the plant's leaflets.

Just like water balloons, according to studies, stimulated ring cells can cause water to move in and out through osmosis. As a result, the cells either deflate or swell depending on the movement of water. The process explains why the plant moves or rather dances.

Why the Leaflets Move

Many theories have been put forth to explain why the plant dances. Some theories propose that it's a defense mechanism while others state it's a way to lure predators. The movements are also said to deter herbivory and increase the plant's exposure to the sun.

Telegraph Plant Uses

Apart from the movements the leaflets make, the leaves, roots and flowers contain alkaloids and thus have long been used to treat inflammatory diseases in Chinese medicine. The perennial plant buds purple flowers and can grow up to 4 feet in height.

Grow the Dancing Plant

Whether you want to grow the telegraph plant aka Codariocalyx motorius or any other interesting ornamental or flowering plant in your garden, we've got you covered.

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