Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Mimosa diplotricha C.Wright

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Eudicots
Order:Fabales
Family:Fabaceae
Genus:Mimosa
Species:M. diplotricha
Common Names:Giant Sensitive Plant, Giant False Sensitive Plant
Status:Exotic. Naturalised.

Description

This is a staggering or scrambling woody shrub or semi-woody herb. Branches are long and and angular. Leaves are twice pinnate with 3-10 pairs of opposite side stalks, each with 11-30 pairs of leaflets 3.5-5 x 1-2 mm. The stem and leaves are prickly, the latter sensitive to the touch. Inflorescence rounded, flowers bisexual, whitish-greenish-purple pink and up to 0.4 mm long. Pods are clustered, flattened and slightly curved, 10-35 x 4-5 mm with 3-8 seeds. At maturity, the sharply bristly pods break into free-falling, 1-seeded units.

Read more about the Fabales order.
Read more about the Fabaceae family.

Distribution

Native to tropical and subtropical America, its distribution is now pantropical.

Localities

Changi, Pulau Semakau

Human Uses

The plant is grown as a green manure, fallow crop and cover crop. It is a soil improver because of its nitrogen-fixing ability. It is also grown to control soil erosion

References

Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Faridah Hanum, I & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) 1995. Plant resources of South-East Asia - No. 11: Auxiliary plants. Backhuys, Leiden.

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