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Marcus, Joseph A.
Desmanthus illinoensis (Michx.) MacMill. ex B.L. Rob. & Fernald
Illinois bundleflower, Bundleflower, Prairie bundle flower, Prickleweed, Illinois Desmanthus, Prairie mimosa
Synonym(s): Acuan illinoense, Mimosa illinoensis
USDA Symbol: DEIL
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
One to several erect stems grow from the base to 1-3 ft. (sometimes up to 5 ft.) in height. The leaves are twice pinnately compound. Six to 15 pinnae each have 20-30 leaflets. Leaves fold in strong sunlight and when touched. Small, ball-shaped clusters of greenish flowers occur on axillary stalks. An erect plant with ball-like clusters of small, whitish or greenish flowers on tall stalks rising in axils of compound leaves. Flat, leathery, twisted seedpods follow.
The somewhat similar Prairie Acacia (Acacia angustissima) has fruit 1 1/2-3 (4-8 cm) long. Prairie Mimosa and Prairie Acacia are nutritious range plants, high in protein.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Bipinnate Leaf Shape:
Linear Inflorescence: Head Leaf:
Brown Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
, WI Native Distribution: SC
to AL, TX
& e. CO,
n. to IL,
& ND Native Habitat:
Frequent in North Central Texas, rare in Edwards Plateau and Plains Country, rare in Southeast Texas and Trans-Pecos. Grows in clay or caliche soils in open areas. Open, wooded slopes; rocky prairies; stream banks; roadsides; waste places
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Various soils. Does not tolerate coarse sands or dense clays.
Conditions Comments: It is an erect plant with ball-like clusters of small, whitish or greenish flowers. The leaves fold in strong sunlight and when touched. Flat, leathery, twisted seedpods follow. It blooms in summer and in fall after rains. Visually, it is interesting for its fern-like leaves and bundled tangles of seed pods.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Seeds are desirable for wild birds. The plant is considered a nutritious and palatable browse for wildlife.
Use Medicinal: Pawnees used leaf tea as wash for itching. Hopi used seeds placed in eye for conjunctivitis.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Sow scarified, inoculated seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Hill Country Natives
- Leander, TX
Record Last Modified: 2013-12-09
Research By: TWC Staff, TMH