- Perhaps most notably, the term Mimosa serves as the name for a remarkable genus of beautiful flowering plants. Furthermore, this fabulous genus contains about 400 recognized species of flora at this time. However, many more species presently remain under consideration for inclusion.
- Many of the various species within this genus also now rank as quite popular as ornamental plants. This fact holds true throughout many portions of the world. This remarkable popularity occurs partly due to the fact that the species all produce seeds in vast numbers and also sprout quickly when cut.
- In addition, the first member of the group was introduced into the United States, in North America, in 1745. After that, this variety of Mimosa quickly established itself in the wild in several regions. This included California in the west, and from Virginia to Louisiana in the south and southeast.
- Further, the various forms of the Mimosa remains typically relatively short-lived in comparison to other species of tree. Yet the seeds, however, seem capable of remaining dormant for many years. These also have the capacity to then sprout prolifically when they acquire the proper conditions.
Mimosa Physical Description
First of all, given the fact that the name Mimosa applies to so many species, physical descriptions naturally vary. To begin with, the various members of this amazing genus all generally attain widely varying sizes. But, these various flora do fit into a specific range of sizes, however. Due to this fact, the majority of species reach heights ranging between 20-40 ft (6-12 m).
Yet another physical characteristic remains fairly constant throughout the entirety of this fascinating genus. That statement holds true because all plants within the genus tend to grow comparatively rapidly. In point of fact, many types have the ability to grow at a phenomenal rate. These grow from a seedling to a height of about 3 ft (1 m) within a single growing season.
Also, depending upon which member of the genus one observes, the plant also displays another fabulous trait. That’s because some forms produce either a single trunk or multiple trunks. Additionally, the bark of the Mimosa most commonly remains thin, predominantly smooth in texture, and light in color.
In addition, the leaves of the plants develop as deciduous. Furthermore, these generally range from 5-8 in (12.5-20 cm) in length. Also, the blooms typically have a feathery nature and display a bright pink color. These usually develop in large numbers. Also, the fruit has a light brown color and an oval shape.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Fabales
- Family: Fabaceae
- Genus: Mimosa
Mimosa Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Since the term Mimosa actually applies collectively to so many plants, its native habitat range covers a large portion of the world. But, being dependent on certain environmental conditions does limit its habitat somewhat. As a result of this limiting factor, it mainly occurs naturally within specific climates found within that range. As a result, the numerous species within this awesome genus appear endemically in Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Nevertheless, wherever they appear, all species within this amazing genus display yet another common characteristic. That’s the trait of tending to spread extremely prolifically. Only adding to its capacity to thrive and spread, each appears capable of growing in a wide range of environmental conditions. In addition, all of the various types also produce seeds in large quantities. These easily get spread by either wind, animals or water.
The magnificent Mimosa also tolerates partial shade but prefers full and direct sunlight. For that reason, most specimens rarely develop in areas of thick forest. Yet, the plants further rarely occur at elevations measuring more than 3,000 ft (900 m) above sea level. In many riparian areas, this plant remains considered an invasive pest. Its reproductive capacities in such environments also often lead to its overtaking native flora species.