Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Mimosa dysocarpa, Velvetpod Mimosa

Mimosa dysocarpa, Velvetpod Mimosa, Southwest Desert Flora Mimosa dysocarpa, Velvetpod Mimosa, Southwest Desert Flora Mimosa dysocarpa, Velvetpod Mimosa, Southwest Desert Flora Mimosa dysocarpa, Velvetpod Mimosa, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Mimosa dysocarpa
Common Name: Velvetpod Mimosa
Also Called: Spanish: Gatuño, Gato)
Family: Fabaceae or Leguminosae Family
Synonyms: (Mimosa dysocarpa var. wrightii)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Usually 3 or 4 feet tall (6 feet).
Growth Form: Shrub; multiple short dense branches/stems, stems 3-sided, thorns,
Leaves: Green; deciduous; alternate, pubescent, bipinnately compound, 16 or more leaflets, leaves "close" when touched.
Flower Color: Pink, pinkish-purple; showy; light fragrance, inflorescence a short cylindrical plume spike with 20 or more flowers with syncronis bloom; fruit a legume.
Flowering Season: May to September.
Elevation: 3,500 to 6,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Common along brushy slopes, arroyos and washes.

Recorded Range: A rare species in the United States, Mimosa dysocarpa is native to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In Arizona it occurs in the southern counties of Pima, Santa Cruz and Cochise; in New Mexico in the extreme southwestern part of the state and also in Socorro County; and in Texas it is found east of the Rio Grande River in the counties of Jeff Davis, Presidio and Brewster. Velvet Mimosa is common in northern Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Mimosa dysocarpa.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: 22 Native species in Mimosa throughout the central and southern parts of the United States. Most of the natives are found exclusively in Texas. (USDA, NRCS, Plants List shows 3 non-natives.) 5 species native to Arizona.

The Plant List includes 1,301 scientific plant names of species rank for the genus Mimosa. Of these 708 are accepted species names.

Comments: Without a doubt Velvetpod Mimosa is one of the southwests beautiful plants with its spikes of purplish and pink flowers.

Seeds of Velvetpod Mimosa are readily eaten by birds, especially ground running birds, and livestock.

Also see in Southwest Desert Flora; Catclaw Mimosa, Mimosa aculeaticarpa biuncifera.

Date Profile Completed: 09/01/2015, updated 09/14/2015
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 09/01/2015]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center at Uvalde: (accessed: 09/01/2015)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 09/14/2015).
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information