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Mimosa pudica - L.

Common Name Morivivir, Sensitive Plant
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards When the prickles on the stem and the fruits become too hard, they can cause intestinal inflammation in grazing animals[418 ]. The roots are toxic in large doses[348 ].
Habitats Croplands, orchards, pastures, mowed areas, roadsides, areas disturbed by construction, moist waste ground, open plantations, and weedy thickets at elevations from sea level to 1,300 metres[413 ]. It may grow as a single plant or in tangled thickets[413 ].
Range Probably arose in the Neotropics, but now Pantropical.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Mimosa pudica Morivivir, Sensitive Plant

Mimosa pudica Morivivir, Sensitive Plant
wikimedia.org / H. Zell


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Mimosa pudica is an evergreen Annual/Perennial growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
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: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Mimosa hispidula Kunth Mimosa tetrandra Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd. Mimosa unijuga Duchass. & Walp.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Oil
Edible Uses: Drink  Oil

The delicately fragrant flowers can be crystallized, or used in the preparation of distilled flower water[301 ]. An oil similar to soybean oil (Glycine max) is obtained from the seed[646 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

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Acrid  Alterative  Antiasthmatic  Antibilious  Antidiarrhoeal  Antidote  Antiinflammatory  Bitter  
Blood purifier  Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Dysentery  Emetic  Febrifuge  Leprosy  
Resolvent  Tonic  Vulnerary

According to Ayurveda, the root is bitter, acrid, cooling, vulnerary, alexipharmic. It is used in treatment of biliousness, leprosy, dysentery, vaginal and uterine complaints, inflammations, burning sensation, fatigue, asthma, leucoderma, blood diseases etc[646 ]. According to the Unani system of medicine, the root is resolvent, alternative, useful in diseases arising from blood impurities and bile, bilious fevers, piles, jaundice, leprosy etc[646 ]. The root is used to control alcoholism[348 ]. The leaves are bitter, mildly sudorific, tonic[348 ]. A leaf tincture is given by teetotallers to drunkards to remedy drunkenness[348 ]. The seed is emetic[348 ]. The plant contains the alkaloid 'mimosine'[646 ]. Extracts of the plant have been shown in scientific trials to be a moderate diuretic; to depress duodenal contractions in a similar manner to atropine sulphone; to promote regeneration of the nerves; and reduce menorrhagia[413 ]. The roots contain tannin, ash, calcium oxalate crystals and mimosin[646 ]. Root extracts are reported to be a strong emetic[413 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Fodder  Green manure  Oil  Soil reclamation  Soil stabilization  Straw

Agroforestry Uses: The plant forms a dense ground cover and has been used to provide ground cover in coconut plantations[317 ]. It has been introduced to subtropical, humid areas of the Transcaucasus where it is cultivated for erosion control, ground cover and green manure[317 ]. The plant has been identified as having potential for phytoremediation of arsenic polluted areas in Thailand[413 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest  Ground Cover  Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Agroforestry Services: Understory legume  Fodder: Pasture  Management: Fodder  Management: Hay  Regional Crop

A plant of the tropics, but also naturalized in the subtropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,300 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 28°c, but can tolerate 10 - 32°c[418 ]. It is intolerant of frost[413 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 900 - 3,000mm[418 ]. Prefers a sunny position, but can succeed in quite dense shade[418 ]. Plants are shade intolerant[413 ]. Succeeds in most soils, including those that are shallow or poor in nutrients[418 ]. The plant is well adapted to humid areas with high winds[418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7, tolerating 5 - 7.5[418 ]. The plant has become naturalized throughout the Tropics and much of the subtropics[317 ]. It has become a pest in forest plantations, cropland, orchards and pasture[413 ]. It is particularly likely to become a noxious weed when growing in dryland field crops, in rainfed wetland rice and in plantation crops[418 ]. Plants can flower all year round[418 ]. Plants are a fire hazard when dry[305 ]. Although they can be perennial, the plants can also complete their life-cycle within 90 days[418 ]. 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 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Plants that contribute to nitrogen fixation include the legume family – Fabaceae.
  • Agroforestry Services: Understory legume  Legume vegetation, especially the trees and shrubs growing between the forest canopy and the forest floor.
  • Fodder: Pasture  Enclosed tracts of farmland mainly of grasses, with an interspersion of legumes and other forbs (non-grass herbaceous plants).
  • Management: Fodder  Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Management: Hay  Cut to the ground and harvested annually. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and 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

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Chui mui, Kaya, Ladhugas, Lajwanti, Macco, Nam-ya-haiawn, Tikayon, Trinhnu

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

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

Africa, Asia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Central America, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Africa, Guianas, Guyana, Haiti, Indochina, Jamaica, Laos, Lesser Antilles, Madagascar, Maldives, Mexico, Myanmar, North America, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Sao Tome and Principe, SE Asia, Sierra Leone, South America, Suriname, Taiwan, Vietnam, West Africa, West Indies*

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.

It has become a pest in forest plantations, cropland, orchards and pasture[413 ]. It is particularly likely to become a noxious weed when growing in dryland field crops, in rainfed wetland rice and in plantation crops[418

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Least Concern

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Mimosa scabrellaabaracaatinga, bracaatinga, bracatingaTree10.0 10-12 FLMHNMWe004

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

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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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