Mimosa pigra is rarely found growing in wet, disturbed sites in Highlands, Okeechobee, Martin, Broward and Palm Beach counties. It is native to tropical America and blooms from spring to summer (Wunderlin, 2003).
Sprawling, often thicket-forming shrub to 6 m (20 ft) tall, with hairy stems bearing numerous recurved prickles to 7 mm (0.3 in) long.
Alternate, twice compound, sensitive to touch; leaf petiole and rachis to 20 cm (8 in) long, prickles at junctions, 5–12 pairs of pinnae; each pinna with 24–31 pairs of leaflets, these to 8 mm (0.3 in) long, often with threadlike hairs on margins.
Small, mauve to pink, in stalked, dense, spherical heads; about 1 cm (0.5 in) across, with about 100 flowers per head; 8 stamens.
A brown-bristly, segmented, flat pod to 8 cm (3 in) long and 1.4 cm (0.5 in) wide, with the 9–24 segments breaking free individually; each containing a seed. Pods in clusters, or “hands” (of usually 7) at stem tips.
Has formed dense understories in swamps, shading out native tree seedlings and altering bird, reptile, and vegetation communities. FLEPPC Category I
C, SW, SE
Financial support for this web page provided by the St. Johns River Water Management District (FL).
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2. Strangers in Paradise, Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida, Chapter 2: Florida’s Invasion by Nonindigenous Plants: History, Screening, and Regulation, by D.R. Gordon and K.P. Thomas, pp. 21-37. Island Press, Washington, DC, 1997.
3. Invasive and Non-native Plants You Should Know - Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey. University of Florida-IFAS Publication # SP 431. 2007.
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