Desmanthus virgatus

Desmanthus virgatus (L.) Willd.

Common Names: Virgate Mimosa

Family: Fabaceae

Habit: Desmanthus virgatus grows as a loping vine/shrub to 2 meters in height laying on and growing through other vegetation. The bipinnately compound leaves are arranged alternately, to 15 cm long with pinnae in 2-7 pairs with a circular depressed gland between the lower 2 pinnae. The leaflets in 10-20 pairs, linear, with an acute leaf apex and entire margin.

The perfect/staminate or staminodal, incomplete or complete, actinomorphic flowers are in arranged in powder-puff ball heads. The calyx has 5 fused sepals forming a tube. The corolla has 5 greenish fused petals forming a tube twice the length of the calyx. There can be 10 white stamens or 10 staminodes that are 7-10 times the length of the corolla. The ovary is superior with a single locule. The fruit is a legume that turns brown at maturity and is elastically dehiscent.

Habitat: Desmanthus virgatus grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation –Woodlands/Shrublands (scrublands) and along the edges of Human Altered environments (abandoned fields, edges of yards).

Distribution: Desmanthus virgatus occurs in the Lucayan Archipelago, Temperate and Tropical Western hemisphere.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Desmanthus virgatus is not used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.