Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Mimosa roemeriana, Roemer's Mimosa

Roemer's Mimosa has pink or lavender, showy puff-ball type flowers. The “puff-ball” flowers each have several small individual flowers that have 5 petals and 8 to 10 protruding yellow or gold tipped stamen with pink filaments and yellow anthers. Mimosa roemeriana Roemer's Mimosa  blooms from April to July. It is also called Cat’s Claw, Catclaw, Pink Sensitive Briar, Roemer’s Sensitive Briar, Roemer’s Mimosa, Sensitive Briar, Sensitive Plant and Shame Vine. Mimosa roemeriana Roemer's Mimosa leaves are alternate and pinnately compound. The small leaflet pairs quickly fold back looking like the leaves are closing-up, and thus the common name “sensitive”. Mimosa roemeriana Roemer's Mimosa is a member of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family of plants. It is native to Texas and perhaps Oklahoma. This species prefers elevations from 600 to 3,000 feet (182.88 to 914.4 m). Mimosa roemeriana Roemer's Mimosa may be observed in the following habitat preferences: Roadways, pastures, fields, prairies, rocky-areas, calcareous and chalky type soils, sandy soils. Mimosa roemeriana

Scientific Name: Mimosa roemeriana
Common Name: Roemer's Mimosa

Also Called: Cat’s Claw, Catclaw, Pink Sensitive Briar, Roemer’s Sensitive Briar, Roemer’s Mimosa, Sensitive Briar, Sensitive Plant, Shame Vine

Family: Fabaceae or Leguminosae Family

Synonyms: (Mimosa quadrivalvis var. platycarpa, Schrankia roemeriana)

Status: Native to Texas.

Duration: Perennial

Size: 1 to 2 feet (.30 to .61 m), may spread horizontally several feet (up to 6 feet (1.82 m).

Growth Form: Roemer's Mimosa is a vining forb/herb; plants are low growing, trailing and prostrate; the stems are ribbed with numerous recurved prickles (thus the common name briar); the lower parts of the stems are rounded or 5-sided; the young stems are covered with tiny soft erect hairs or at times smooth.

Leaves: Roemer's Mimosa has green leaves arranged alternately on the stems; the leaves are pinnately compound; when touched the leaflet pairs quickly fold back looking like the leaves are ‘closing-up’, thus the name “sensitive”.

Flower Color: The flowers are showy pink or lavender, 1 inch (2.5 cm) puffball type flowers; the flowers are fragrant; the flowering stalk or inflorescence grows out from a leaf axil; the puffball "flower" consists of several small individual flowers containing 5 petals and 8 to 10 extending yellow or gold tipped stamens with pink filaments and yellow anthers; the fruit is a flattened pod at maturity and 3 to 6 times as wide as thick, the seed pods also are armed with prickles, seeds are almost square and smooth.

Flowering Season: April to July

Elevation: 600 to 3,000 feet (183 to 914s m)

Habitat Preferences: Roadways, pastures, fields, prairies, rocky-areas, calcareous and chalky type soils and sandy soils.

Recorded Range: Mimosa roemeriana is found primarily in North Central Texas and particularly on the Edwards Plateau, where it is common and wide-spread. Possibly native to Oklahoma.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Mimosa roemeriana.

North America species range map for Mimosa roemeriana:

North America species range map for Mimosa roemeriana:
Click image for full size map.

U.S. Weed Information: Not considered a weed as such but regarded as an important lawn pest in Galveston County, Texas in which areas where this plant can thrive, the plants may quickly become a major problem without quick preventative measures.

Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: Unknown
Wetland Indicator: Unknown
Threatened/Endangered Information: Unknown

Genus Information: In North America, USDA Plants Database lists 28 species and 37 accepted taxa overall for Mimosa. Most of the species are native to North America. Worldwide, World Flora Online includes 949 accepted species for the genus.

The genus Mimosa was published in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus, (1707-1778)

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 8 species of Mimosa, California has 3 species, Nevada and Utah each have 1 species, New Mexico has 10 species and Texas has 27 species. Data approximate, subject to revision.

Comments: Roemer's Mimosa is also called, among other common names, “sensitive briar” because its leaves close-up quickly when touched. Members of the genus Mimosa are among the few plants that are capable of this fast, rapid movement.

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

Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Mimosa roemeriana has attractive flowers and their flowers, seeds and plants may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of food, nectar and protection through cover.

Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Honey Bees and Insects
Mimosa roemeriana has attractive flowers, the flowers and the plants may be visited by butterflies, moths, flies, honeybees, Native Bees and other insects in search of food and nectar.

The genus Mimosa is from the Greek word "mimos", an actor or mime and the suffix "osa" meaning resembling", a reference to rapidly closing leaves which appears to "mimic" conscious life.

The species epithet roemeriana is named in honor of Ferdinand von Roemer, (1818-1891), a German geologist who lived in Texas from 1845 to 1847 and became known as the "father of Texas geology". Mr. Roemer collected specimens in the New Braunfels, Texas, area from 1845-47.


Date Profile Completed:11/04/2019, updated 11/22/2021
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 10/09/2019)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 11/02/2019).
World Flora Online; A Project of the World Flora Online Consortium; An Online Flora of All Known Plants - (accessed 11/23/2021)
Marian Kimbrough, Master Gardener, Article, 2009; Weed of the Month (July 2009); Roemer's Sensitive Briar; Galveston County Master Gardener Association, Inc. (GCMGA); (accessed 11/03/2019).'s-Sensitive-Briar.htm
Botanical Research Institute of Texas; Flora of North Central Texas Online' Shinners and Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (accessed 11/23/2021).
Wikipedia contributors, 'Mimosa', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 May 2019, 19:28 UTC, [accessed 3 November 2019]
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet (accessed 11/02/2019). Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
ETYMOLOGY: Michael L. Charters; California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations; A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology; (accessed 11/03/2019)