from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Biophytum dendroides in the Bonn Botanical Garden

Biophytum dendroides in the Bonn Botanical Garden

Nuclear eudicotyledons
Eurosiden I
Order : Wood sorrel (Oxalidales)
Family : Wood sorrel family (Oxalidaceae)
Genre : Biophytum
Scientific name

The genus Biophytum (no-name) is a plant kind from the family of the sour clover plants (Oxalidaceae). It consists of 50–70 types , depending on the view of the processor . The irritability of the leaflets is characteristic.


All species of the genus have pinnate leaves. The ability to stimulate and sleep movements is particularly pronounced here: Similar to the genus of the mimosa ( Mimosa ), the Biophytum species fold their leaflets together within a few seconds when touched, but downwards. The entire sheet can be set up. The name of the genus derives from these movements. Even at night and in strong sunlight, the leaves are folded up.

The leaflets sometimes have a rounded rectangular or trapezoidal shape. The terminal leaflet is receded and bristle-shaped. The leaves are never evenly distributed on the stem, but rather arranged in terminal rosettes or in lively rosettes on the stem.

The inflorescences can be head-shaped or densely cerebral. They are always long stalked, while the individual flowers are more or less short stalked.

The capsule jumps up at maturity having five valves to a fivefold star which the seeds presented. After the epidermis of the seeds has dried on, these then jump away, as described in the article about the sorrel family .

These are perennial plants whose stems can lignify at the bottom. They reach heights of a few centimeters to over a meter.


The genus Biophytum occurs worldwide in the tropics, namely mainly in tropical rain and cloud forests . Distribution centers are the Andes in northern South America , Madagascar and South Asia .


The types include (selection):

  • Biophytum fruticosum flower : It occurs in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, New Guinea, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and China.
  • Biophytum dendroides DC.
  • Biophytum reinwardtii (Zucc.) Klotzsch
  • Biophytum sensitivum (L.) DC. : Her homeland is India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan and China.
  • Biophytum umbraculum Welwitsch : It occurs in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Yunnan , in tropical Africa and on Madagascar.

Biophytum dendroides and Biophytum sensitivum can become bothersome weeds in the tropical houses of botanical gardens .


  • R. Knuth: Oxalidaceae. IV. 130 (Issue 95), 1930: 1-481. In: HGA Engler (ed.), The Plant Kingdom. Published by Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig.

Individual evidence

  1. a b Quanru Liu & Mark Watson: Gleditsia Linnaeus. , Pp. 36-38 - online with the same text as the printed work , In: Wu Zheng-yi, Peter H. Raven, Deyuan Hong (ed.): Flora of China. Volume 11: Oxalidaceae.
  2. Biophytum in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved May 10, 2017.

Web links

Commons : Biophytum  - collection of images, videos and audio files