Mimosa microphylla Dry. - Sensitive Briar

Mimosa microphylla plant

Family - Fabaceae

Stems:

Mimosa microphylla stem

Leaves:

Mimosa microphylla leaf openLeaflets typical.

Mimosa microphylla leaf closedLeaflets 5 seconds after being touched.

Inflorescence:

N/A

Flowers:

Mimosa microphylla flowers

Mimosa microphylla fruitFruits.

Flowering - June - September.

Habitat - Sandhills, flatwoods, hammocks, open woods, fields, roadsides.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This interesting species can be found throughout Alabama. The plant is easy to identify becasue of its pom-pom inflorescences, prickly stems, and sensitive leaflets. The leaflets fold together immediately after being disturbed and usually unfold about 3-5 minutes later.
The genus nameMimosa derives from the Latin "mim(o)" meaning "mimic, an actor" referring to the action of the leaflets.
The species epithet microphylla derives from the Greek "micr" meaning "small" and "phyll" meaning "a leaf" referring to the tiny leaflets of this species.

Alabama Distribution:

Mimosa microphylla map

Photographs taken off Lee Rd 10, Lee County, AL., 8-27-04.


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