The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







For the cocktail, see Mimosa (cocktail), and for the star in Crucis, Becrux.

Mimosa pudica
and about 400 other species.

Mimosa is a genus of about 400 species of herbs and shrubs, in the subfamily Mimosoideae of the legume family Fabaceae, with evenly bipinnate leaves. The best-known species is Mimosa pudica, also known as the Sensitive Plant, or Sleeping Grass, because of the way it folds its leaves down when touched; it and many others also fold their leaves in the evening. It is native to southern Mexico and Central America but is widely cultivated elsewhere for its curiosity value, both as an indoor plant in temperate areas, and outdoors in the tropics, where it has become an invasive weed in some areas, notably Hawaii.

This plant is one of a few plants capible of rapid movement, including the Telegraph plant, and the Venus Flytrap. (See also Rapid plant movement.)

The name Mimosa has also been misapplied to several other related species with similar pinnate or bipinnate leaves, most commonly to Albizia julibrissin (Silk Tree) and Acacia dealbata (Silver Wattle).

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