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.


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