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sensitive plant, shameplant

Habit Herbs or subshrubs, erect or decumbent, 0.3–1 m, armed.

ribbed to striate, hispid or glabrous;

prickles infrastipular, paired, also sparse along internodes, recurved.


stipules lanceolate, 7–12 mm, glabrous to sparsely setose;

petiole 1–4.5 cm;

primary rachis 0–2.5 mm;

pinnae 1 or 2 pairs, digitate;

leaflets 15–25 pairs, blades obliquely linear-oblong, 5–10 × 2–2.5 mm, margins setose, 1 eccentric vein prominent abaxially, apex acute to mucronate, surfaces glabrous.


95–125-flowered, axillary, globose or subglobose capitula, solitary or fascicles of 2 or 3, also disposed in racemiform branches, 10–15 mm diam.;

bracts linear to lanceolate, 1/2–2/3 corolla length.


1–3 cm.


0 mm.



calyx campanulate, lobes 4, 1/10 corolla length;

corolla pink, glabrous, lobes 4, 1/4 corolla length;

stamens 4, filaments distinct to base, lilac;

ovary sessile to shortly stipitate, glabrous;

style attenuate at apex;

stigma poriform.


sessile, straight, linear-oblong, 10–15 × 3–4 mm, constricted between seeds, valves with 2–5 segments, margin armed, long-setose, apex acuminate, faces glabrous.


2–5, ochre, lenticular, 3–3.2 × 2.5–3 × 1–1.2 mm, testa smooth or porous, fissural line 90%.

Mimosa pudica

Phenology Flowering Jul–Jan; fruiting Jul–Jan.
Habitat Pinelands, secon­dary vegetation, burned or cleared pinelands.
Elevation 0–40 m. (0–100 ft.)
from FNA
FL; MD; Mexico; Central America; South America; West Indies [Introduced in North America; introduced also in tropical Asia, Africa, Australia]
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[BONAP county map]

Mimosa pudica is a pantropical species that has become established in Florida; C. F. Reed (1964) included M. pudica in the flora of the chrome and manganese ore piles at Canton, in the Port of Baltimore, Maryland; his record from Newport News, Virginia, cannot be verified, as that is an immature plant, probably corresponding to another species.

Varieties of Mimosa pudica were distinguished by J. P. M. Brenan (1959) in tropical East Africa. R. C. Barneby (1991) proposed a modified key to varieties; however, they are not clearly delimited in American populations. Available specimens from the flora area cannot be determined at the infraspecific level.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 11.
Parent taxa Fabaceae > subfam. Caesalpinioideae (Mimosoid clade) > Mimosa
Sibling taxa
M. biuncifera, M. borealis, M. distachya, M. dysocarpa, M. emoryana, M. grahamii, M. hystricina, M. latidens, M. malacophylla, M. microphylla, M. monclovensis, M. nuttallii, M. pigra, M. quadrivalvis, M. roemeriana, M. rupertiana, M. strigillosa, M. texana, M. turneri
Synonyms M. pudica var. unijuga
Name authority Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 1: 518. (1753)
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