telegraph plant

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
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Examples from the Web for telegraph plant

Historical Examples of telegraph plant

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


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
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