For Your Garden - October 2016
Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases.
Illinois mimosa (Desmanthus illinoensis
Photo © 2016, Joe Bauer, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Illinois mimosa, also known as bundle-flower, can be found in all of Illinois except the northwestern one-fourth of the state. It grows along roads and railroad tracks, in prairies, on levees and in other moist areas. The plant can attain a height of up to three feet. The leaves are compound and delicate. Clusters of the tiny flowers are produced on stalks from the leaf axils. Flowers are white. They are produced from June through August. Curved, brown seedpods are noticeable in late summer and fall. This plant is an important food source for grazing animals of the prairie and supplies pollen and nectar to pollinator species.
Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.