Mimosa dysocarpa, Velvetpod Mimosa
Scientific Name: Mimosa dysocarpa
Common Name: Velvetpod Mimosa
Also Called: Velvet-Pod Mimosa, Spanish: Gatuño, Gato
Family: Fabaceae or Leguminosae Family
Synonyms: (Mimosa dysocarpa var. wrightii)
Size: Usually 3 or 4 feet tall more (1 or 1.21 m)
Growth Form: Shrub; multiple short dense branches/stems, stems with many spines in groups of 3, maturing stems straw-colored to gray, becoming 3-sided or striated
Leaves: Green; deciduous; alternate, pubescent, hairy, bipinnately compound, 16 to 20 leaflets, leaves "close" when touched similar to "Sensitive Briar, M. roemeriana", leaves linear-lanceolate.
Flower Color: Pink, pinkish-purple to magenta; showy up to 2 inches (50 mm) long, flowers fade as they mature to pinkish or white; light fragrance, inflorescence a short cylindrical plume, flowers 20 or more in dense heads with exerted stamens, flowers in synchronism bloom; fruit is a pod with thick walls, strongly coiled and often constricted between seeds.
Flowering Season: May to September, June through September in Texas.
Elevation: 3,500 to 6,500 feet (1066 to 1981 m).
Habitat Preferences: Common along brushy slopes, arroyos and washes.
Recorded Range: A rare species in the United States, Mimosa dysocarpa is native to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In Arizona it occurs in the southern counties of Pima, Santa Cruz and Cochise; in New Mexico in the extreme southwestern part of the state and also in Socorro County; and in Texas it is found east of the Rio Grande River in the counties of Jeff Davis, Presidio and Brewster. Velvet Mimosa is common in northern Mexico.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Mimosa dysocarpa.
U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.
Genus Information: In North America there are 22 species for Mimosa. Most native Mimosa are found in Texas. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 708 accepted species names and a further 344 scientific names of infra-specific rank for the genus.
The genus Mimosa is closely related to Acacia and Albizia, the differences are its flowers which are reported to have 10 or fewer stamen per flower.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 5 species of genus Mimosa, California has 0 species, Nevada has 1 species, New Mexico has 6 species, Texas has 17 species, Utah has 1 species. All data approximate and subject to revision.
Comments: Without a doubt Velvetpod Mimosa is one of the southwests beautiful plants with its spikes of purplish and pink flowers. Velvetpod Mimosa is very similar to Catclaw Mimosa, Mimosa aculeaticarpa as both species are armed with sharp prickles. Velvetpod Mimosa has larger and more showy elongated flowers.
According Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center the plants "are extremely drought tolerant and regular pruning encourages growth of more branches and flowers".
The dense thickets provide excellent cover value to both small rodents, quail and other ground birds.
The origin and meaning of the species epithet dysocarpa is unknown.