Desmanthus illinoensis

Prairie mimosa

CODE: 06C-0001
ZONE: 4a
PRICE: $7.00
POT SIZE: 4.5"sq x 5.0", 1004 ml

Wouldn't it be nice to sit out in the garden with a mimosa in hand? Well, now you can, and you don't even need to bring champagne!

This native plant has been called prairie mimosa for two reasons. The first is that it can be found in prairies (duh). The second reason is just as simple: the flowers resemble mimosa blooms.

Since the flowers are small and aren't produced in huge quantities they're actually fairly subtle -- you won't notice them from across the yard. If you want to appreciate the small, pom-pom like white blooms you'll need to plant it near a door or wallkway.

As cute as they are, the flowers aren't the reason that I grow this plant. For me, it's all about the foliage. Have you ever seen those 'sensitive ferns' that close up when you touch them? That's what the leaves look like (except they don't close). For those of you who aren't familiar with it, let me explain.

The foliage is extremely ferny, small, and fine-textured, delicate and almost tropical in appearance. It softens masses of native prairie plants (try it with 'Magnus' coneflowers or the hard architectural lines of a building.

Prairie mimosa grows quite well in just about any type of soil, as long as it's sodden. It's happiest in full sun and can be quite drought tolerant. In fertile soils plants can reach 6' in height, but usually they're around 2-3'.

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