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telegraph plant

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noun
  1. a tick trefoil, Desmodium motorium, of the legume family, native to tropical Asia, noted for the spontaneous, jerking, signallike motions of its leaflets.

Origin of telegraph plant

First recorded in 1880–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for telegraph plant

Historical Examples

  • Portion of stem and leaves of Telegraph-plant (Desmodium gyrans), almost of natural size.

    The Elements of Botany

    Asa Gray


British Dictionary definitions for telegraph plant

telegraph plant

noun
  1. a small tropical Asian leguminous shrub, Desmodium gyrans, having small leaflets that turn in various directions during the day and droop at night
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012