Mimosa diplotricha C.Wright ex Sauvalle
Giant Sensitive Plant, Giant False Sensitive Plant, Nila Grass
Mimosa invisa, Mimosa longisiliqua, Morongia pilosa, Schrankia brachycarpa, Schrankia pilosa
Color: Pale pink
Bloom Time: From August to February, but can vary from region to region
Mimosa diplotricha is an erect shrub or a scrambling climber that grows up to 10 feet (3 m) tall. 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. Stems are characteristically very long. They are squarish in cross-section, with four ridges running lengthwise. Flowers are pale pink and look like clustered fluffy balls. They are up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) in diameter and arise from short stalks from the leaf joints. The flowers develop into clustered, slightly curved seed pods.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Mimosa can grow in some really hardy zones and 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 various soil types like clay, loam, and sandy soil. The soil should ideally be acidic, but a mildly 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 well-drained soil. As these flowering plants prefer soil that 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 the 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.
This species is native to the Neotropics. It is an invasive species and now has a pantropical distribution.
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