Every month on the last Wednesday, Gail with Clay and Limestone blog shares a meme to provide a place to link our native and wildflower blooms and plants. I'm a little late but I wanted to share this unusual Kansas native, Catclaw Sensitive Plant.
Mimosa quadrivalvis - Catclaw Sensitive Plant
This plant really isn't too impressive until it blooms these round sparkling blooms. It reminds me of a woodland plant for some reason but it is prevalent in many prairies. I found this plant in a vacant industrial lot that I have derived many natives before. Kids would be interested as the leaves fold up when touched.
Mimosa quadrivalvis L. var. nuttallii
Height: 1-2 feet tall
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period: May-September
Stems: Sprawling, 1-6 feet long, strongly ribbed, covered with hooked pickles.
Leaves: Alternate, stalked.
Inflorescences: Heads, dense, spherical, 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter, talks 1 to 3 inches long, in leaf axis.
Flowers: Numerous, tiny, sessile, pink to lavender, calyces minute, 5-lobed, petals 5, united; stamens 8-12, filaments pink, anthers yellow.
Fruits: Pods, linear, 1 to 5 inches long, strongly ribbed, prickly; seeds namy, nearly square, smooth.
Habitat: Prairies, open woodlands, ravines, and roadsides, most abundant in dry, rocky or sandy soils.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Comments: The leaflets are sensitive to touch and will fold together when disturbed. The tiny flowers are rarely seen due to the overshadowing stamens.
*Information courtesy of Mike Haddock Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses website.