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Mimosa scabrella - Benth.

Common Name abaracaatinga, bracaatinga, bracatinga
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Araucaria pine forests at higher elevations, where it is more common in secondary formations[419 ].
Range S. America - southern and eastern Brazil.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Full sun
Mimosa scabrella abaracaatinga, bracaatinga, bracatinga

Emoke Dénes
Mimosa scabrella abaracaatinga, bracaatinga, bracatinga
Valerio Pillar


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Mimosa scabrella is a fast-growing tree reaching a height of up to 15 m and a trunk diameter of about 10 - 50 cm. It is a cross pollinating species and capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen. It is used as a shade tree in coffee plantations and as green manure. The leaves are bipinnate and yellow green, forming a large, open, and rounded canopy. The white to yellow flowers are formed into clusters at the leaf bases. The seeds are small and brown. M. scabrella has many uses in paper production and honey production. Its wood is moderately heavy and hard, but of low durability. It is used mainly for veneers and boxes.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Mimosa scabrella is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil. The plant is not wind tolerant.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Mimosa bracaatinga Hoehne


Edible Uses

None known


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: A natural pioneer species within its native range, it is fast-growing and also fixes atmospheric nitrogen. It can be used as part of a mixed planting in native reforestation projects[419 ]. The tree is used to provide shade in highland coffee plantations in Cameroon and Central America[303 ]. The tree sheds large quantities of nitrogen-rich leaves that decompose rapidly and form rich humus, whilst its attractive flowers make it a pleasant live fence[303 ]. Other Uses The heartwood is tinted a greyish-rose colour; the sapwood is pinkish. The texture is medium; the grain straight. The wood is hard, moderately heavy, of low durability under adverse circumstances, with a moderately rough surface without lustre. Hard to cut, the wood is used in house construction, indoor finishing, and mainly for veneers and boxes[419 ]. The wood makes a high-quality fuel, although charcoal made from it produces a large amount of ash[303 , 419 ].

Special Uses


Cultivation details

Native to the cool, subtropical plains of southeastern Brazil, the plant it is very robust and can grow in both warmer and drier areas. It is not recommended, however, for areas with mean annual temperatures higher than 23°c. It is found in areas where the mean annual rainfall ranges from 600 - 3,500mm and is spread through the year, though it is also able to tolerate dry periods of up to 4 months[303 ]. Requires a sunny position[419 ]. Succeeds in most soils and conditions[419 ]. Prefers a freely-draining soil, being intolerant of waterlogged, compacted or severely degraded soils[303 ]. Tolerant of strongly acid soils with a pH as low as 4.8, and also those soils with high aluminium content[303 ]. Grows best in a position sheltered from strong winds[303 ]. A fast-growing species, easily reaching a height of 3.5 metres within 2 years from seed[419 ].Fourteen month old trees up to 5 metres tall have been recorded; in 2 years they have reached 8 - 9 metres; and some 3 year old specimens have reached 15 metres[303 ]. Plantations have been harvested on rotations as short as 3 years, though fuelwood plantations in Brazil are more commonly planted at spacings of 2 x 2 or 3 x 3 m and harvested on 3 - 7 year rotations[303 ]. This species does not coppice well, though it can be pollarded or pruned effectively[303 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[755 ].


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Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and, unless sown as soon as it is ripe and still moist, may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. Sow the seed in a partially shaded position in individual containers or in a nursery seedbed. A high germination rate can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 20 - 30 days[419 ]. When the nursery bed sown seedlings are 4 - 5cm tall, pot them up into individual containers. Seedlings grow very quickly and should be ready to plant out 3 - 4 months later[419 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

abaracaatinga - Portuguese, bracaatinga - Portuguese, bracatinga - Portuguese.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available


Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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Desmanthus illinoensisPrairie Mimosa, Illinois bundleflowerPerennial1.3 4-8  LMHNM411
Mimosa pudicaMorivivir, Sensitive PlantAnnual/Perennial0.5 10-12 FLMHSNM223

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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Subject : Mimosa scabrella  
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