1. Family: Fabaceae Lindl.
    1. Mimosa L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and is native to Asia-Tropical, Africa, Southern America and Northern America.


    Legumes of the World. Edited by G. Lewis, B. Schrire, B. MacKinder & M. Lock. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (2005)

    Trees, shrubs or herbs
    Seasonally dry tropical and subtropical forest, woodland, wooded grassland, thorn forest, tropical montane woodland, temperate grassland and desert
    most in the Neotropics: centred in Mexico (62 endemic spp., 15 spp. extending to USA and 7 spp. to C America [3 and 2 spp. endemic to each region respectively]); Caribbean (8 endemic spp.); 7 spp. disjunct between Mexico-C America-Caribbean and S America; 20 spp. widespread in New World, 3 of which are pantropical weeds; c. 350 spp. endemic in S America in a) Brazil (S of Amazonia) and adjacent Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay; b) Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia; c) Orinoco basin. 35 spp. endemic in the Palaeotropics (30 spp. in Madagascar; 2 spp. in SE tropical Africa and 3 spp. endemic to the Indian subcontinent)

    The tribe Mimoseae (sensu Bentham, 1875) is retained here simply as a matter of convenience. All recent phylogenetic analyses indicate that Ingeae and Acacieae are derived from within Mimoseae (Chappill & Maslin, 1995; Käss & Wink, 1996; Luckow et al., 2000; Bruneau et al., 2001; Luckow et al., 2003; Herendeen et al., 2003a), making it a paraphyletic group at best. The most recent studies indicate that it may not even be monophyletic with respect to the Caesalpinioideae (Luckow et al., 2000; Bruneau et al., 2001; Luckow et al., 2003).

    Although the outline of a new tribal classification of the mimosoids is emerging, we await better-supported phylogenies (based on more extensive data) before formalising new stable and useful groups. Some parts of the classification proposed here are better supported than others. Notably, the basal branches in Fig. 24 are poorly supported in most analyses and the relationships among the groups are likely to change as we acquire more data. As presently indicated (Luckow et al., 2003), the type genus Mimosa falls within the derived Piptadenia group which is in turn sister, and basally branching, to elements of Acacia and Ingeae (Fig. 24). A more narrowly circumscribed Mimoseae sens. strict. will thus leave the bulk of Mimoseae sens. lat. (i.e., as treated here) in need of new tribal allocation. The most conspicuous difference between the classification presented here and that of Lewis & Elias (1981) is the inclusion of tribe Parkieae within Mimoseae. The former was circumscribed based on imbricate aestivation of the calyx, and was considered the basal tribe within the Mimosoideae (Elias, 1981a). Recent phylogenetic analyses (Chappill & Maslin, 1995; Luckow et al., 2000; Bruneau et al., 2001; Luckow et al., 2003; Herendeen et al., 2003a), indicate that the two genera in the Parkieae, Parkia and Pentaclethra, are not sister taxa (Fig. 24). Pentaclethra is nested within Mimoseae in Luckow et al. (2000), but is either sister to caesalpinioid taxa in Bruneau et al. (2001) and Herendeen et al. (2003a), or part of a basal polytomy with Mimoseae and caesalpinioid taxa (Luckow et al., 2003). Both Parkia and Pentaclethra are included in the tribe Mimoseae pending additional data and tribal recircumscription.

    Recent work (Luckow et al., submitted a) also indicates that the monospecific tribe Mimozygantheae should be subsumed in the Mimoseae near Piptadeniopsis and Prosopidastrum, currently in the Prosopis group. Otherwise, the informal groups within the Mimoseae recognised by Lewis & Elias (1981) are relatively well-supported by current phylogenies and only a few departures have been made from their system. Where relationships are either poorly supported or unresolved, the classification of Lewis & Elias (1981) is retained. The Xylia group is dismantled and the Adenanthera group recircumscribed to include Calpocalyx and Xylia . Desmanthus has been removed from the Dichrostachys group, as has Neptunia, in agreement with recent molecular and morphological phylogenetic studies (Harris et al., 1994; Hughes, 1998; Luckow, 1995, 1997). A new group is erected to accommodate Piptadeniastrum which is well separated from Newtonia in the most recent phylogeny (Luckow et al., 2000; 2003), and another to accommodate Cylicodiscus, which is more closely related to the clade containing the Prosopis, Leucaena, Dichrostachys, and Piptadenia groups than it is to the Newtonia group. Neptunia is well supported as sister to Prosopidastrum in recent analyses (Luckow et al., 2003) and is included in the Prosopis group here. Relationships of genera in the Prosopis group are not resolved, but the group is retained here as there is no evidence that it is not monophyletic. Genera newly described since 1981 include Alantsilodendron, Calliandropsis, Kanaloa, and Lemurodendron. Alantsilodendron and Calliandropsis are placed in the Dichrostachys group, and Kanaloa in the Leucaena group based on phylogenetic analyses (Hughes, 1998; Luckow, 1997; Luckow et al., 2000). Lemurodendron is tentatively included in the Newtonia group as suggested by Villiers & Guinet (1989). As treated here the Mimoseae comprises 40 genera and from (859)– 869–(879) species.

    Placed in the Piptadenia group, allied to Parapiptadenia, Piptadenia, Stryphnodendron, Microlobius and Anadenanthera (Luckow et al., 2003)

    Leguminosae, J.P.M. Brenan. Flora Zambesiaca 3:1. 1970

    Mostly herbs or shrubs, rarely trees, sometimes scrambling or climbing, prickles usually present.
    Leaves 2-pinnate, or the pinnae seeming almost digitate on account of the very short rhachis, rarely (not in our species) absent or modified to phyllodes; pinnae each with few to many pairs of leaflets.
    Inflorescences of ovoid or sub-globose heads or (not in our species) spikes, which are axillary, solitary or more usually clustered and often ± aggregated.
    Flowers hermaphrodite or male, small, sessile.
    Calyx very small, irregularly laciniate or denticulate in our species.
    Corolla gamopetalous, 4- or sometimes 3-, 5- or 6-lobed.
    Stamens as many as or twice as many as the corolla-lobes, fertile.
    Anthers without any apical gland.
    Pods straight to circinate, flat, in our species ± bristly or prickly; at maturity the valves between the margins splitting ± transversely into 1-seeded segments or rarely (not in our species) remaining entire; exocarp (at least in our species) not separating from the endocarp; margins persistent.
    Used as ornamentals, living fences, soil binders, fodder, green manure, shade plants, fuelwood and medicine (e.g., M. pudica L., the sensitive plant, sleeping grass, humble plant ); many species are weedy, causing problems in agricultural land



    Found In:

    Alabama, Andaman Is., Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Arizona, Arkansas, Aruba, Assam, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Cayman Is., Colombia, Colorado, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Himalaya, Ecuador, El Salvador, Florida, French Guiana, Galápagos, Georgia, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Illinois, India, Jamaica, Kansas, Kentucky, Leeward Is., Louisiana, Madagascar, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Mississippi, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, New Mexico, Nicaragua, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pakistan, Panamá, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Southwest Caribbean, Suriname, Tanzania, Tennessee, Texas, Trinidad-Tobago, Turks-Caicos Is., Uruguay, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Virginia, West Himalaya, Windward Is.

    Introduced Into:

    Angola, Benin, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Caprivi Strip, Caroline Is., Central African Repu, Chad, Chagos Archipelago, China South-Central, China Southeast, Christmas I., Congo, Cook Is., Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Hainan, Hawaii, Ivory Coast, Jawa, Kenya, Korea, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Malawi, Malaya, Maldives, Mali, Maluku, Marianas, Mauritania, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New South Wales, Nicobar Is., Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Ogasawara-shoto, Philippines, Queensland, Rodrigues, Rwanda, Réunion, Samoa, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Is., Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Swaziland, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tokelau-Manihiki, Tonga, Uganda, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis-Futuna Is., Western Australia, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Mimosa L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Identified Reference Herbarium Specimen Type Status
    Feb 1, 2010 Huamantupa, I. [6627], Peru K000661107
    Feb 1, 2010 Huamantupa, I. [3756], Peru K000661108
    Feb 1, 2010 Valenzuela, L. [5861], Peru K000661109
    Apr 1, 2006 Silva, J.M. [3836], Paraná K000864997
    Oct 18, 2005 Luz, A.A. [127], Minas Gerais K000864995
    Jan 1, 1984 Burchell, W.J. [8238], Goiás K000850609
    Brooks, R.R. [655], Goiás K000850647
    Queiroz, L.P. [12430], Rio Grande do Sul K000850648
    Souza, J.P. [3970], Goiás K000850649
    Jesus, N.G. [832], Bahia K000864996
    Irwin, H.S. [23843], Minas Gerais K000864999
    Ferrucci, M.S. [4672], Bahia K000850642
    Rico, L. [1327], Bolivia K000295129
    Queiroz, L.P. [12411], Rio Grande do Sul K000850628
    Pirani, J.R. [4803], Mato Grosso do Sul K000850629
    Silva, A.S.L. [1964], Pará K000850630
    Cavalcanti, T.B. [1626], Goiás K000850631
    Heringer, E.P. [14107], Goiás K000850632
    Heringer, E.P. [14180], Goiás K000850633
    Mendonça, R.C. [2251], Goiás K000850634
    Silva, M. [182], Roraima K000850635
    Delpetre, P.G. [10156], Goiás K000850636
    Delpetre, P.G. [9629], Goiás K000850653
    Silva, J.M. [3839], Paraná K000850622
    Silva, J.M. [3876], Paraná K000850623
    Lindeman, J.C. [3069], Paraná K000850624
    Lindeman, J.C. [2376], Paraná K000850625
    Vargas, A. [18], Mexico K000478809
    Cavalcanti, T.B. [1226], Brazil K000850610
    Vargas, A. [19], Mexico K000478810
    Nascimento, M.S.B. [508], Piauí K000850614
    Brooks, R.R. [603], Goiás K000850657
    Silva, M.A. [4765], Brazil K000850618
    Cavalcanti, T.B. [1628], Goiás K000850620
    Cavalcanti, T.B. [1622], Goiás K000850616

    First published in Sp. Pl.: 516 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Nelson Sutherland, C.H. (2008) Catálogo de las plantes vasculares de Honduras. Espermatofitas . SERNA/Guaymuras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras


    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • Benth. in Trans. Linn. Soc. 30: 338 (1875).
    • —F.T.A. 2: 335
    Flora Zambesiaca
    • Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 233 (1754).
    • Sp. Pl. 1: 516 (1753)


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
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    Legumes of the World Online
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