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Smooth-leaf Sensitive-brier Mimosa microphylla (Mimosa quadrivalvis var. angustata, Schrankia uncinata)


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Smooth-leaf Sensitive-brier - flower
credit: cm195902/CCSA

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Alternate name: Littleleaf Mimosa, Catclaw Sensitive-brier

Family: Fabaceae, Pea view all from this family

Description This trailing vine or prostrate herb bears fragrant, brushy, pink flower clusters above sensitive, feathery foliage.
Habit: native perennial vine or herb; sprawling barbed stems, barbs to 0.1 in (2 mm) long.
Height: prostrate, stems to 3 ft (90 cm) long.
Leaf: alternate, bipinnately compound, to 5 in (12 cm) long; tiny leaflets, 0.25 in (6 mm) long, 0.1 in (2 mm) wide, around 16 pairs per pinna.
Flower: tiny tube, 0.125 in (3 mm) long; with elongated pistil and 5-10 elongated stamens, pink to purple, tipped with yellow pollen, to 0.75 in (2 cm) long; held radially in pom-pom-like sphere, to 0.75 in (2 cm) diameter, long-stalked from leaf axil.
Fruit: slender linear pod, ribbed, densely barbed, to 4 in (10 cm) long; in radial cluster.

Flower June to September, or year-round depending on location.

Flower April - July (in south); June - July (in north)

Habitat Flatwoods, sandhills, hammocks, open woodland, prairies, roadsides, woods; also cultivated as an ornamental.

Range Native to southeastern U.S., from Virginia south to Florida, west to Texas and Kansas, north from Alabama to Kentucky and Illinois.

Discussion Also called little-leaf sensitive briar, catclaw sensitive briar, eastern sensitive briar, sensitive briar, sensitive briar vine, sensitive plant, little leaf mimosa.

The leaflet pairs close at night, in cloudy weather, and when touched, remaining closed for 3-5 minutes.

Exposure Preference Sun.

Native Distribution Illinois to South Dakota & s.e. Colorado, s. to Texas

Site Preference Prairies; ravines; open woods

Soil Preference Rocky or sandy, dry or well-drained soils