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Mimosa malacophylla

Mimosa malacophylla A. Gray

Raspilla, Softleaf Mimosa

Fabaceae (Pea family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

"Stems prickly; leaflets 4-6 pairs, (5) 7-10 mm in length; southern Texas." (reslit: 2886). "Scandent or, when unsupported, diffuse, weakly fruticose subshrubs attaining 4.5 m, armed at least on main stems and on most Ieaf axes with files of cat's-claw aculei 1.5-2.5 mm (random distal branchlets almost unarmed), the stems and foliage densely pilosulous with soft erect pallid hairs to 0.3 mm or minutely thinly puberulent, the broad thin-textured leaflets facially either pilosulous, puberulent, or glabrous (but then minutely ciliolate), the inflorescence of ellipsoid or subglobose capitula either simply pseudoracemose or paniculate, either fully exserted from foliage or proximally foliate." (bibref: 1811).


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub , Vine
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Bipinnate
Size Notes: To about 4.5 meters in height.
Leaf: "Stipules subulate-setiform 1-8 mm, 1-nerved; leaf formula iii-vi/ 4-7, the leaf stalks (4-) 5-16 cm, spiculate between pinna-pairs, the rachis of longer pinnae 2-4 cm; leaflets subsymmetrically ovate, ovate-elliptic or (especially the distal pair) obovate, abruptly mucronulate or apiculate, attaining 7.5-14 x 4.5-9 mm, 3-nerved dorsally, the midrib pinnately 3-5-branched on each side." (bibref: 1811).
Flower: "Peduncles (1-) 2-5 per node, (5-) 8-20 mm; capitula without filaments 5-14 X (4-) 4.5-6.5 mm, prior to anthesis moriform, the pyriform-obovoid flower buds silky-puberulent, the receptacle becoming 4-10 mm; pedicels 0.1-0.5 mm; flowers (4-) 5-merous, but the androecium variously reduced to 5-10 filaments, and only 5-6 antheriferous; calyx campanulate 0.3-0.6 mm, the rim minutely denticulate and ciliolate; corolla 1.8-2.7 mm; filaments white, united at very base below stipe of ovary, exserted 4-4.5 mm; anthers ovate 0.4-0.6 mm, the connective sometimes minutely produced between anther-sacs." (bibref: 1811).
Fruit: "Pods 1-6 per capitulum, the stipe 6-16 mm, the body in profile broad-linear 50-90 X 8-12.5 mm, falcately recurved, 4-10- seeded, the replum either unarmed or remotely aculeolate, shallowly constricted or almost straight, often vestigially puberulent, the glabrous or glabrate valves low-bullate over each seed, the indehiscent, free-falling articles 8-13 mm long." (bibref: 1811).

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec
Bloom Notes: "Bloom period: All seasons following rain." (bibref: 1810)


Native Distribution: "Southern Texas and Rio Grande Valley northwest to Kinney County and adjacent Mexico." (reslit: 2886). "Locally common in the lower Rio Grande valley in Texas, downstream from Kinney County (Isely, 1973, map 34), thence south through easterm Coahuila and central Nuevo Leon to extratropical Tamaulipas, Mexico." (bibref: 1811).
Native Habitat: "Roadside thickets, washes, woodland along lower Rio Grande; limestone to sandy silt soils." (reslit: 2886). "Shrub-thickets, hedges, and ditch-banks, below 400 m." (bibref: 1811).

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.

Research Literature

Reslit 2886 - Legumes of the United States. IV. Mimosa (1971) Duane Isely

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
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Additional resources

USDA: Find Mimosa malacophylla in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Mimosa malacophylla in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Mimosa malacophylla


Record Modified: 2020-12-07
Research By: JAM

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