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Catclaw Mimosa, Una de Gato, Gatura, Wait-a-bit, Wait-a-minute
Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera (M. biuncifera)

Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

The dry hills and mesas of limestone and igneous rock in Central and West Texas are home to catclaw mimosa, growing at elevations of 2000 to 5000 feet. It ranges south into Northern Mexico, and northward into Southern New Mexico and Arizona. It is common in the Trans-Pecos, less so in the Plains Country. This dense, thicket-forming, rounded or straggly shrub has angled, irregular, somewhat zigzag branches armed with many short but stout and vicious recurved prickles, either singly or in pairs. The prickles may or may not occur also on the margins of the brick red, constricted seed pods. Fuzzy, pink, globe-shaped flowers appear intermittently from April through September. Catclaw mimosa prefers thin, rocky soil and may be used as an erosion control plant on rocky slopes in full sun, or as an ornamental hedge. Deer and livestock browse it, and with its spiny, dense habit it provides good cover for quail and other wildlife who also depend on its seeds for food. Its fragrant flowers are a good source of nectar. Mimosa is from the Greek word "mimos", to mimic, which refers to its sensitive leaves which move rapidly when touched. Biuncifera refers to its stout, paired prickles. The most common mimosa in the Trans-Pecos is the variety biuncifera; in desert grasslands it has become an unwelcome invader.

Plant Habit or Use: medium shrub

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color: pink, white (fragrant)

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: pod or legume

Height: 8 feet

Width: 4 to 6 feet

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8

Additional Comments:

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