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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Mimosa

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Fabales > Family: Fabaceae > Subfamily: Mimosoideae

About 400 species, found throughout the tropics but mainly in South America. There is one native species and one naturalised species in southern Africa. Mimosa pigra (Giant sensitive plant, Raak-my-nie) is a declared Category 3 invasive plant in South Africa. An additional eight species are cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Flora of Zimbabwe.

Mimosa pigra (Giant sensitive plant, Raak-my-nie)

Recorded from Zimbabwe; it is a naturalised escape elsewhere in southern Africa.

Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of southern Africa - an online checklist (SANBI)

Mimosa pudica (Sensitive plant)

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Mimosa acanthocarpa

Native to Mexico.


Mimosa biuncifera

Native to Mexico.


Mimosa bracaatinga

Native to Brazil.


Mimosa latispinosa

Native to Madagascar.


Mimosa lindheimeri

Native to SW USA and Mexico.


Mimosa polycarpa

Native to Peru.


Mimosa rubricaulis

Indigenous from India to Pakistan.


Mimosa spegazzinii

Native to Argentina.




  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.