Description: Trees, shrubs or herbs with recurved prickles and sensitive leaves.
Leaves alternate, bipinnate, with 1–14 pairs of pinnae; pinnules few to numerous per pinna; stipules lanceolate, bristly.
Inflorescences axillary, cylindrical spikes or ovoid heads; pedunculate. Flowers 3–6-merous, bisexual, unisexual or sterile. Calyx usually minute. Petals ± fused. Stamens as many as or twice as many as petals, free, exserted; anthers without a gland. Ovary sessile.
Pod oblong or linear, flattened, lomentum-like, continuous or ± septate inside; seeds flat, ovate or circular.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 600 species tropical & subtropical regions, mostly America, also Africa, Asia. Australia: 3 species (naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., N.T.
Text by L. Murray
|One species in NSW: Mimosa pudica|