Mimosa pudica

Mimosa pudica L.

Common Names: Sensitive Plant, Sleepy Plant, Shy Plant

Family: Fabaceae

Habit: Mimosa pudica grows as a slightly pubescent, rhizomatous herb to 50 cm in height (usually lower and creeping) with recurved prickles. The evenly bipinnate leaves are arranged alternately with 4-5 pairs of pinnae each with 15 or more pairs of leaflets.  The leaflets are up to 1 cm in length, linear, with an entire margin and rounded apex. Each leaf and pinnae have a pulvinus.  The leaflets close rapidly went touched.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in axillary or terminal, elongate heads with each flower subtended by a bract. There are 5 fused sepals in the calyx. There are 5 fused pink/purple petals in the corolla forming a tube that exceeds the calyx. There are 4 pink/purple, showy, stamens that are 2 times as long as the perianth.  The ovary is superior with a single locule.  The fruit is a linear legume, with constrictions between the seeds, with prickles, that turns brown at maturity.

Habitat: Mimosa pudica grows in Human Altered environments (lawns, yards, gardens).

Distribution: Mimosa pudica is NOT native to Lucayan Archipelago and does not occur in natural areas.  It is native to Central and South America and now grows in the Caribbean region, Africa, Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Australia as well as the southern United States.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Mimosa pudica is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago

Mimosa pudica is grown as an ornamental for its beautiful flowers and the novelty of its sensitive leaves.