Distribution: Worldwide, but mostly tropical and subtropical with a focus on dry regions, as indicated by the large and typical Genus Acacia. We have 12 genera and 59 species in Texas including the 'mimosa tree' (Albizia) that grows on campus and sometimes escapes cultivation, mesquite (Prosopis), plus 'sensitive' herbs (leaves move when touched) of the genera Mimosa and Schrankia.
Leaves of this family tend to be bipinnately
While the actinomorphic flowers
distinctive relative to other beans, they are usually quite
The most distinctive floral feature of the Mimosaceae is the
which is usually a spherical head of these small, regular flowers with
the stamens well excerted from the (often) sympetalous corolla and the
filaments taking on an attractive function.
|Local herbs of the Mimosaceae: Neptunia lutea (right) and Mimosa nuttallii (left)|
The local mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa -
shows bipinnate leaves but only 1 or rarely two pairs of pinna
leaflets) - and a linear (non-spherical) inflorescence - this species,
according to Correll and Johnston is "probably the commonest 'legume'
Texas" and, given habitat destruction in the state and concurrent
advance of this species from the South, this statement is supported as
More information on the Mimosaceae