Mimosa borealis Gray

  • Family: Fabaceae/Mimosaceae (bean, pea, etc.)
  • Common name: fragrant mimosa

    Shrub to 2 m (6 ft) tall. Twigs glabrous, slightly zigzag, armed with basally flattened recurved thorns 5-8 mm (0.2-0.3 in) long. Leaves alternate, bipinnate, 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) long with 2-7 pairs of pinnae. Leaflets 3-8 pairs per pinna, 3-5 mm (0.1-0.2 in) long, oblong to ovate. Inflorescence pink globose axillary heads about 1 cm (0.4 in) in diameter on peduncles about 2 cm (0.8 in) long. Flowers clustered, numerous, very small, pink. Fruits legumes 3-6 cm (1.2-2.4 in) long and 6-8 mm (0.2-0.3 in) wide, often constricted between the seeds, usually with prickles on the margins. Flowering and fruiting May to July.

    Distribution: Native to southwestern Kansas and southeastern Colorado south to northern Mexico.
    Habitat: Rocky hillsides and canyons.
    NWI status: none
    Comment: Mimosa is from the Greek word mimos ("to mimic"), referring to the animal-like movement of the leaves of some species in response to touch; borealis refers to its occurrence further north than most species of the genus.

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/14/99
    Go to Oklahoma Biological Survey Home Page