catclaw mimosa Fabaceae Mimosa
aculeaticarpa Ortega symbol: MIAC3
Leaf: Alternate, deciduous, bipinnately compound, 2 to 3 inches long, with 6 to 8 pairs of major leaflets and 15 to 30 pairs of minor, very finely divided leaflets, green to grayish green.
Flower: Very small, white to pinkish white, in tight conspicuous round clusters (balls), 1/2 inch across on a 2 to 3 inch long stalk, fragrant, appearing in spring and sporadically throughout the summer depending on rainfall.
Fruit: A slender, reddish brown, twisted, constricted legume (1 to 2 inches long), often with spines on margins.
Twig: Slender, slightly zigzag, irregularly angled, reddish brown, speckled with light colored lenticels, a pair of strongly hooked spines (1/4 to 1/2 inch long) at the base of each leaf.
Bark: Initially smooth, gray-brown, larger stems become darker and scaly.
Form: Upright, multi-branched, dense thicket forming shrub or a small tree up to 8 feet in height with a spreading crown.
Looks like: fairy duster - guajillo - whitethorn acacia - catclaw acacia
Additional Range Information: Mimosa aculeaticarpa is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting catclaw mimosa.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson