"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. " ~Lindley Karstens

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sensitive Plant -- Mimosa strigillosa

This Mimosa strigillosa is a pass along from my friend at work.  When she gave it to me, she warned me that I need to be careful if I ever decided to put it into the ground because it is nearly "indestructible".  I really listened to her, and kept it in a container :)

Botanical name: Mimosa strigillosa
Common names: Sunshine Mimosa, powderpuff, sensitive plant
Chinese name: 含羞草
It was selected as one of Florida Plants of the year in 2008 sponsored by FNGLA (Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association).

This is the characteristics listed in the Florida Gardening site for the reason that it is chosen as Florida Plants of the year.  You also can check it out to see other plants chosen for each year.

"This reliable and vigorous low-grower is native and drought tolerant growing in moist or dry soils. It produces pink ball-shaped flowers in warmer seasons which attract butterflies and provide butterfly larva with food. The foliage is delicate-looking with small compound leaves which draw back when touched, yet are durable enough to walk on, park on, drive on and even mow. In sun or shade, it grows best when well watered and grows well intermingled with sod. With virtually no major insect or disease problems, this ground cover is a winner!"

It is fun to see how all the leaves draw back when I water them, or when I touch them on purpose.

The flower only last for a day, but it flowers almost the all year long except the very cold weather.

Sometimes if I forgot to water it for a quite long time, all the leaves turned brown.  However it will soon bounce back after receiving a good rain or watering.  It is a tough little plant for sure!  Some says they use this as lawn alternatives.  For me, I am happy to just keep them in the container for added interest in the garden.


  1. The kids love this plant though we get few little powderpuff flowers. We call it sleeping grass here aswell as its a reminder of bedtime as the leaves curl up each night. Its only a houseplant here.

    Ami does yours have little thorny bits on the stem? I am amazed that some people use this as a grass alternative!

  2. They are definitely thorny here on the Big Island and not a favorite of mine. I only see them in the ground and they are everywhere! I consider them a weed. I guess a container is a good way to enjoy them!

    1. The mimosa strigillosa is not a thorny plant. Your plant must be a different variety.

  3. A similar plant that is even more sensitive is the TickleMe Plant
    (Mimosa pudica) It can be grown as a house plant indoors year round!
    The leaves instantly close and even the branches droop when Tickled!
    Just search TickleMe Plant to easy grow your own indoors. Kids love to grow this plant!

  4. Definitely sounds sensitive in every way. I love the puffball blooms on these! Here in my area, people are experimenting with sunshine mimosa as grass alternatives, though they just don't seem thick enough to deter the never-ending weeds to me. Right now, I'm just sitting back and watching the results of their experiments.

  5. I think its a great grass alternative, but not for kids to run around on. In my neighborhood the thorns would be a good thing... hehehe. They have a bunch of these at the guana river educational center in south Ponte Vedra and they never fail to make me smile!

  6. pretty! The mimosa trees (are they related?) are all in bloom here. I see them on the roadsides and they remind me of the tree we had in my backyard when I was a kid. I loved that gorgeous gorgeous tree. Your plant is really pretty too.

  7. I saw this plant at Bok gardens and almost bought one. I didn't know it was nearly indestructible in the garden. It is a real beauty. I just love those little pink puffs of blooms.

  8. I made the mistake and planted it in the ground...it spreads quite fast. Needs relocating..may put some in a container.

  9. I put some of this in the ground in a part shade area and it is spreading nicely. I have lots of room for it to spread so I'm not too worried. As usual, when a plant is called invasive it just means that it probably won't die in my garden. I am always looking for groundcovers. This one is cute when it blooms. Mine disappeared this winter but came back this spring. The grandkids love to "pet" it.

  10. Nice plant and the flowers are beautiful. It would look nice in my garden but I never seen it in the local nurseries

  11. Here in the dry tropics they are obnoxious weeds and difficult to control in marginal areas or if farms are left to fallow. I just am warning you to not let it stray, or else you will have difficulty in getting rid of the plant parts. Even the left-over small stems or roots tend to grow, they are considered colonizers.

  12. I have it mixed in my grass and cannot get rid of it. The roots are about a foot deep and it spreads so quickly you can't keep up with it. Does anyone know of anything that will get rid of it?

  13. I had no idea that people actually cultivate this stuff. Until I identified it, I was calling it baby KUDZU. It was definitely determined to take over. It can be killed by spraying it with a broad leaf weed killer, such as Weed Stop concentrate by Spectracide.

  14. Good grief, I can't believe people advocate planting this stuff. It is a non native invasive and grows like crazy taking over our lawn. Kill it now....

  15. Just moved to SW Florida, glad to find this blog...really enjoy gardening and have much to learn about zone 10 plants. Thanks

  16. This plant is the devil, if planted in the ground. I planted a little plant in one of my gardens and it took it over and choked out all other plants. I am in the process of trying to kill it now. Roots are over 1 foot deep and hard to pull. I never though to keep in the a pot. I wish I had been warned when I bought it.


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