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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - October 06, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Source for sensitive briar in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My husband, young son and I are beginning a landscaping project at my son's school where they have a colorwheel garden. Our section is the green section. There are already some plants in the plot and we plan to keep some and remove others. Except for a few plants which are not native to this area (Rosemary, gulf muhly, etc)that the school is using for their educational field guide, we would like our plot to be comprised of Edwards Plateau and Blackland Praire natives. One plant that we wanted to add is Sensitive Briar (Mimosaceae Roemeriana). I believe this is a native to this area! As a kid I loved going for hikes and finding these little plants and stroking their fern-like leaves to make them close. This seemed like a fun choice for a garden for children. However, in my initial attempt to locate seeds or plants of this variety I have come up empty. Is it even possible to purchase these plants somewhere? If so, could you tell me which suppliers would have them?

ANSWER:

Well, we drew a blank, too, on seed sources for Mimosa roemeriana (Roemer's mimosa). We were hoping that it was on the sales list for the Fall Plant Sale, but it isn't. However, you might want to attend that sale anyway, since you are in Austin. Not only will there be lots of plants on sale from the Wildflower Center, there will be tents there from the Native Plant Society of America and Native American Seed (whose online catalog we already checked, no joy there), and you might get a lead on where seeds are to be obtained, or possibly find something else that will suit your purposes. Meanwhile, go to our National Suppliers Directory, type in your town and state under "Enter Search Locaton" and you will get a list of native plant nurseries and seed companies in your general area. They all have contact information, and perhaps one of them will have a supply.This USDA Plant Profile map shows that it is native to this area, so you might even stumble on some ready to seed or that you could try digging up and transplanting, provided you have the permission of the property owner. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Mimosa roemeriana

Mimosa roemeriana

Mimosa roemeriana

 

 

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