Giant Sensitive Tree (Mimosa pigra)


Mimosa pigra L. 1755, commonly called Giant Sensitive Tree, Catclaw Mimosa or Shamebush is a woody, invasive shrub, native to tropical Amerika.

Nowadays the giant sensitive tree is widespread throughout the tropics and is ranked in the Global Invasive Species Database among the 100 worst invasive species. Mimosa pigra shrubs are armed with up to 7 mm long prickles and can reach heights up to about 6 meters. The vigorous growing shrubs form dense, thorny, impenetrable thickets and are very difficult to kill off whilst roots are fully established. Leaves of Mimosa pigra fold up if touched or at nighttime, but they react much slower than Mimosa pudica, which gave them the name “pigra”, which means lazy in Latin language.

The giant sensitive tree belongs to the legume family (Fabaceae) and the bright green leaves are eaten in Southeast Asia as a vegetable. In our home country Thailand the leaves are called Pak Kachin. Mimosa pigra seeds are very resistive and can survive on a sandy soil for more than 20 years. Flowers get a size of about 1 cm in diameter. Flowering period: all around the year.

Giant Sensitive Tree (Mimosa pigra)
Flower Photography © Orchids
Image: Giant Sensitive Tree (Mimosa pigra)

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