Wait-a-Minute Bush
Catclaw Mimosa

Mimosa aculeaticarpa biuncifera

Wait-a-Minute Bush, Mimosa biuncifera, Pen & Ink © by Michael Plagens

Drawn from specimen found in the Mazatzal Mts., Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA, 20 July 1992.

The flowers are attractive to many insects such as native bees and butterflies. A variety of insects also use this plant including the Giant Scale Insect and Orange Skipperling shown in the thumb links below.

Giant Scale Icerya Orange Skipperling

Cottony Giant Scale     Orange Skipperling

Super sharp thorns of Wait-a-Minute Bush, Mimosa biuncifera, photo © by Michael Plagens

ARMED: The fiercly sharp thorns appear in pairs along the stems and are hook-shaped. Digging into the flesh of those pushing through, these thorns often make retreat difficult but necessary.

LEAVES: Double-compound leaves are finely dissected into extremely small leaflets. Like many mimosas the leaves fold up, but slowly, when disturbed or cut and also at night.

RANGE: In the Sonoran Desert of Arizona this shrub occurs at upper elevations and into chaparral.

SHRUB: Woody shrub with rather thin flexible branches reaching mostly 2 meters in height.

FLOWERS: Many small flowers with conspicuous stamens and minute petals are arranged into spheres of cream-white or in some varieties, pinkish.

FRUIT: Even the bean pods often have a thorn or two along the margin. The pods are reddish-brown, and are conspicuous when borne in abundance following a strong rainy season.

Wait-a-Minute Bush, Mimosa biuncifera, loaded with seeds © by Michael Plagens

Fabaceae -- Bean Family

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 14 Nov. 2007,
updated 11 July 2021.