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Mimosa pellita

Mimosa pellita Kunth ex Willd.

Lollipop Mimosa

Fabaceae (Pea family)

Synonym(s): Mimosa pigra

USDA Symbol: MIPE2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), PR (N)

"Armed shrubs with ample microphyllidious sensitive leaves, usually of bushy round- or flat-topped outline, maturing at 1-3 m but potentially attaining 5 m with trunk 1 dm diam. and, not infrequently, when crowded at gallery-margin, sarmentose-scandent, exceptionally diffuse and trailing, variable in pubescence and armature, the stems, leaf-stalks and axes of inflorescence either strigose or hispid with forwardly appressed, ascending, or widely spreading, pallid or lutescent scabemlous setae to 1-3 (-3.5) mm commonly mixed with minute puberulence, the stems and commonly also the dorsal or lateral ribs of leaf-stalks erratically armed with straight declined or with decurved or hooked, hornlike or broad-based aculei to 1.5-12 mm, the cauline aculei either infrastipular or internodal, those of leaf-stalks either solitary or opposite on interpinnal segments, but either or both absent from some branches (or from some leaves of a branch), the many crowded olivaceous leaflets subconcolorous brunnescent, either finely strigulose, finely villosulous, or glabrous except for margins at least remotely setulose-ciliolate, the globose or ellipsoid capitula solitary or 2-3 (-4) together in the axil of synchronously developing or hysteranthous leaves, often at first forming a shortly exserted pseudoraceme but quickly becoming axillary and immersed in foliage, the fruits (or empty repla) long persisting on annotinous branchlets and new flowers often coeval with newly ripened pods." (bibref: 1811).


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Bipinnate
Leaf: "Stipules firm, ovate or lanceolate, 2-5 (-6) x 1-2 mm, extemally densely silky-strigose, glabrous castaneous within, usually not visibly nerved extemally and if so only distally and then not over 5-nerved, the blades becoming dry and brittle but normally persistent; leaf-stalks of fully grown leaves (4-) 6-20 (-24) cm, the petiole including discolored pulvinus 3-16 (-20) x 0.8-2.4 mm, the interpinnal segments 6-20 (-22) mm, shallowly sulcate both ventrally and laterally, the ventral groove bridged and charged between pinna-pairs with a stiffly ascending, stramineous or brownish, glabrous or basally puberulent spicule (0.5-) 1.5-14 (-23)mm; pinnae (6-) 8-14 (-16) juga, either subequilong or proximally decrescent, the rachis of longer ones (2-) 3-7 (-8) cm, the longer interfoliolar segments mostly 0.6-1.2 mm; leaflets of longer pinnae 25-44 (-48) juga, decrescent only at very ends of rachis, the first pair less than 1 mm distant from minute conic or subulate paraphyllidia, the blades linear from obtusangulate or shallowly blunt-auriculate base, acute or apiculate, those near mid-rachis 5-12 x 0.6-1.7 (-2) mm, (5-) 5.5-9 (-10) times as long as wide, all smooth veinless above, beneath 4-5-nerved, the subcentric midrib and parallel lateral nerves all finely prominulous." (bibref: 1811).
Flower: "Peduncles 1.5-7 (-8) cm; capitula without filaments 8-12 x 6-9 mm, usually moriform prior to anthesis but bracts sometimes as long as the obtuse, scabrous-setulose flower buds; bracts linear-oblanceolate 1-3.6 x 0.2-0.5 mm, 1- or 3-nerved, beyond middle either setulose, puberulent or glabrous dorsally, always setulose-ciliolate; flowers with paleaceous calyces, consisting of shallow brown campanulate cups 0.3- 0.6 mm tall surmounted by four (sometimes unequal, asymmetric) lobes setose-decompound to variable depth, the whole 1-1.8 mm long; corolla 4 (-5)-merous diplostemonous, narrowly turbinate, the ovate 1- or partly 2 (-3)-nerved lobes 0.8-1.3 X 0.6-0.95 mm; filaments pale pink or lilac fading whitish, sometimes whitish from the first, united at base into a stemonozone 0.5 mm, exserted 1.5-5 mm." (bibref: 1811).
Fruit: "Pods solitary or commonly 2-several, occasionally to 18 per capitulum, in profile linear or broad-linear, straight or slightly curved, 4-12 (-13) x (0.6-) 0.7-1.5 cm, abruptly contracted at base into a stout stipe 1-5 (-7) mm, broadly rounded and abruptly cuspidulate at apex, either plano-compressed or compressed but turgid, the replum 0.6-1.2 mm wide, the brownish-green, reddish-brown or livid, either thinly or stiffly chartaceous valves either setose with erect, variably broad-based and variably crowded or distant setae to 2-4.5 (-6) mm and sometimes in addition minutely puberulent, less commonly shortly and sparely strigose with finer tapering, forwardly ascending or appressed setae to 2 mm, when ripe breaking into 14-21 (-24) or exceptionally only 8-13 (or by abortion of ovules fewer) free-falling articles, those near mid-pod 2.5-4.5 mm long (hence 2-4 times broader than long), that at each end of pod longer, all either individually indehiscent, closed at each end by a septum 0.2-2 mm wide, or dehiscent and not or only very narrowly membranous-septate, the seeds consequently shed, as the case may be, either encapsulated (when readily water-bome) or naked (when instantly submersible); seeds transverse, narrowly compressed-oblong-ellipsoid 4.5-6 X 2-2.6 mm, the smooth testa olivaceous or brown-olivaceous dull. " (bibref: 1811).

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec


Native Distribution: Texas, Florida, Central and South America and the West Indies.
Native Habitat: "On stream banks and seasonally flooded shores, along ditches and in seasonally wet savanna or scrub-savannas." (bibref: 1811).

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FAC FAC
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.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

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


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

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