Mimosa quadrivalvis

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: sensitive brier 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Central and South America
Zone: 6 to 12
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to September
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Other: Thorns


Best grown in evenly moist to dry, well-draining, sandy to rocky loams in full sun. Avoid transplanting once established. Hardy in Zones 6-12.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Mimosa quadrivalvis, commonly called sensitive brier or fourvalve mimosa, is a herbaceous, taprooted perennial native to open, sandy pinewoods, scrublands, glades, and undisturbed grasslands from South America north into the United States. The prickly, sprawling stems of mature specimens can reach 3-4' long and tend to stay low to the ground but may scramble around 1' up nearby vegetation. Small, curved prickles cover the stems, leaf petioles, and flower stalks. The bipinnately compound leaves can reach 4-5" long and are made up of oppositely arranged, around 1" long leaflets with tiny, elliptic pinnules. The pinnules contract and fold up at night or when touched or shaken. Spherical flowerheads reaching up to 1" wide emerge from the leaf axils. The flowers open for one day and have bright pink, thin, filamentous stamens and styles. The flowers are followed by brown, slightly curved, thin, 1.5-3" long, prickly seed pods containing small, dark brown seeds.

The genus name Mimosa comes from the Greek mimos meaning "mimic" or "mime" in reference to the leaves of some species which move when touched, seeming to mimic consciousness.

The specific epithet quadrivalvis means "four-valved" in reference to the seed pods which split into four parts when mature.

The common name sensitive brier refers to the scrambling, prickly habit of this species and the foliage which closes when touched.


No major pest or disease issues of have been reported.


A non-aggressive, rambling vine for use in rock gardens, native gardens, and natural areas.