Desmanthus illinoensis

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: prairie bundleflower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: North, Central, and South America
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant. Adapts to a somewhat wide range of soils. Easily grown from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Desmanthus illinoensis, commonly called prairie mimosa, Illinois mimosa or Illinois bundle flower, is a Missouri native perennial which occurs in prairies, thickets, glades, rocky slopes/open areas and along railroad tracks throughout much of the State. It is an erect, somewhat weedy plant which grows 2-3' (less frequently to 5') tall with mimosa-like, compound bipinnate foliage. Globular flower heads (1/2" diameter) of extremely tiny, 5-petaled, white flowers (30-50 flowers per head) bloom in June-July on short axillary stalks. Projecting yellow stamens give the flower heads a spherical brush appearance. Curved, dark brown seed pods (to 1" long) develop in clusters (or bundles) on the flower heads in late summer and persist into fall. This pea/bean family plant is noted as an important range plant due to its high protein content.

Genus name comes from the Greek words desme meaning a bundle and anthos meaning a flower for the flowers appearing in bundles.

Specific epithet means of Illinois.


No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Perhaps best utilized in informal prairie or naturalized areas. Native plant gardens.