Invasive Alien Species

Species Name: Mimosa pigra

Family Name:
Mimosa asperata L.
M. sepiaria auct. non Benth
Tropical America
When young it has a single prickly stem.  It then becomes a branched, prickly bush growing up to 6 m high.  The prickles are 5 to 10 mm long.  The leaves are bi-pinnate consist of a central prickly rachis, are sensitive to touch and close at nightfall, have 5-15pairs of pinnae and 18-51 pairs of leaflets. The flowers are mauve to pink and borne in tight globose heads, 1 cm in diameter.  Each head has about 100 flowers and produces 10-25 seed pods.  The Fruit pods are brown when mature, densely bristled all over and break into segments, each containing an oblong shaped seed 2.2-2.6 mm wide and 4-6 mm long.
Invaded Habitat:
Mimosa pigra forms dense impenetrable thickets on moist localities, waste places, floodplains, along river banks, canal, waterholes and in reservoirs often forming a dense jungle and growth at 1-700 m altitude.  It will also growth in drier habitats.
M. pigra  was already present in Java in 1844 .  Mimosa pigra have been transported to many countries as a botanical curiosity because seed was imported from Mexico to the Bogor Botanic Gardens last century. Although M. pigra was introduced to Indonesia so long ago, as far as is known it now occurs only in Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua.
Propagation is by seeds although reproduction from cut stems lef on the ground has been observed in Mexico .  It has a high reproductive capacity. The bristly seed segments float and are dispersed by water.  The seed segments also stick to hair and clothing and are passed through animals. M. pigra has adaptive traits which stimulate it to regrow after fire or mechanical control, probably from dormant stems and roots.
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