Mimosa pigra

Catclaw mimosa

Nonnative to FloridaFederal Noxious Weed ListFISC Category 1 Invasive

Species Overview

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).

Species Characteristics


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.



Text from Invasive and Non-native Plants You Should Know – Recognition Cards 2


Ecological threat

Has formed dense understories in swamps, shading out native tree seedlings and altering bird, reptile, and vegetation communities. FLEPPC Category I