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 Mimosa subsp. var.  
Mimosa pudica foliage and flower-heads
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Fabaceae > Mimosa var. ,

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Mimosa is a genus of about 400 species of herbs and shrubs, in the subfamily Mimosoideae of the legume family Fabaceae. There are two species in the genus that are notable. First the Mimosa pudica because of the way it folds its leaves when touched or exposed to heat. It is native to southern Mexico, Central America and South America but is widely cultivated elsewhere for its curiosity value, both as an indoor plant in temperate areas, and outdoors in the tropics. Outdoor cultivation has led to weedy invasion in some areas, notably Hawaii. Second, the Mimosa tenuiflora, which is best known for its use in shamanic ayahuasca brews due to the psychedelic drug DMT found in its root bark.

Members of this genus are among the few plants capable of rapid movement; examples outside of Mimosa include the Telegraph plant, and the Venus Flytrap. Mimosa can be distinguished from the large related genera, Acacia and Albizia, since its flowers have 10 or fewer stamens. Note that, botanically, what appears to be a single globular flower is actually a cluster of many individual ones.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Mimosa (Greek, a mimic, alluding to the fact that the leaves of some species are sensitive). Leguminbsae. Woody or herbaceous plants, mostly tropical, grown for the showy flowers or feathery foliage; of some species the leaves are sensitive. What the florists know as mimosas are acacias (chiefly A. arrnata).

Trees, shrubs or herbs of varying habit (sometimes woody climbers), mostly thorny or prickly, with bipinnate often sensitive lvs. (sometimes the lvs. reduced to phyllodia): fls. not papilionaceous, in close heads or head-like spikes, usually with 4 or 5 united petals, and a minute or obsolete calyx; stamens 4-10, exserted; pollen granular: pod flat, oblong or linear, breaking up into 1-seeded joints when ripe. Mimosa has stamens 10 or less (once or twice as many as the petals); Acacia has numerous stamens.—Of Mimosas there are probably 300 species, chiefly of Trop. Amer. A number of the bushy species, and the small trees, are planted more or less in warm countries for ornament. They require the treatment given the woody acacias.

M. argentea, Hort. Of climbing habit, suitable for warmhouse, said to be of the same section of the genus as M. pudica, slender, the sts. and branches hairy: pinna; 2 or 3 pairs; lfts. about 40, oblong pinkish on the under side (as are the young shoots), green at the tips and silver-gray on lower half. Brazil.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



Pests and diseases


Mimosa prior to a touch
Mimosa with folded-in leaves immediately after a touch

There are about 400 species including:



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