In 1925 the Smithsonian Institution published a five-volume collection of botanic illustrations titled North American Wild Flowers. The lengthy work cataloged plants that grew throughout the continent, with companion information about each specimen.
Quietly trailing the soil with slender stems, Mimosa pudica is an unassuming herb. While it does not invite attention, it responds dramatically to the touch. At a light caress, its fern-like leaves will fold inward; a gentle thrust will collapse the petiole. Mimosa pudica (Bashful Plant) is the introvert of the garden, yet, with a coy choreography that is curiously beautiful, it is impossible not to touch, and has fascinated botanists for centuries.
In the summer of 1732, Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus embarked on a scientific expedition to Lapland, a mountainous region replete with uncharted soil, people, and plants.