Mimosa diplotricha (Giant Sensitive Plant)

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Scientific Name

Mimosa diplotricha C.Wright ex Sauvalle

Common Names

Giant Sensitive Plant, Giant False Sensitive Plant, Nila Grass

Synonyms

Mimosa invisa, Mimosa longisiliqua, Morongia pilosa, Schrankia brachycarpa, Schrankia pilosa

Scientific Classification

Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Mimosoideae
Tribe: Mimoseae
Genus: Mimosa

Flower

Color: Pale pink
Bloom Time: From August to February, but can vary from region to region

Description

Mimosa diplotricha grows as an erect shrub or a scrambling climber up to 10 feet (3 m) tall. The leaves are bipinnate and bright green with a feathery appearance. They are arranged alternately along the stems. Each leaf contains around 20 pairs of small sessile, lanceolate leaflets arranged opposite each other. Each leaflet up to 0.5 inch (1.2 cm) long. The leaves are sensitive to touch and will curl up if disturbed. The stems are characteristically very long. They are squarish in cross-section, with 4 ridges running lengthwise. The flowers are pale pink and looks like a clustered fluffy ball. They are up to 0.5 inch (1.2 cm) in diameter and arise from short stalks from the leaf joints. The flowers develop into clustered slightly curved seed pods.

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Mimosa is capable of growing in some really hardy zones and can survive in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit (-23 degrees Celsius). Although it grows exceptionally well in bright and full sunlight, it can grow in partially shaded areas as well. The plant can grow on a large variety of soil types like clay, loam, and sandy soil. The soil should ideally be acidic but a mild alkaline soil would suffice too. The plant is known to survive in droughts and hence requires little watering.

The ideal time for planting a Mimosa is during the spring on a well drained soil. As these flowering plants prefer soil which is acidic in nature, it is advised that you add peat moss and composted leaves at regular intervals to maintain its acidic properties. Water the plant and soil enough, but not so much as to saturate it. Keep the area under the tree clean, by sweeping away the fallen flowers and seed pods. Pruning of the branches should ideally be done during fall. This tree often tends to get infested by pests like webworm caterpillars. If affected, the branches should be removed as soon as possible to prevent any collateral damage to the plant. If not taken care of, the need to spray insecticides might arise… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mimosa

Origin

Mimosa diplotricha is native to the Neotropics. It is an invasive species and now has a pantropical distribution.

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