Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera


SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Uchytil, Ronald J. 1990. Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
ABBREVIATION : MIMACUB SYNONYMS : Mimosa biuncifera Benth. Mimosa lindheimeri A. Gray [2,21,23] NRCS PLANT CODE : MIACB COMMON NAMES : catclaw mimosa cat-claw mimosa paired-thorn mimosa wait-a-minute wait-a-bit wait-a-minute bush TAXONOMY : The scientific name of wait-a-minute is Mimosa aculeaticarpa Ortega var. biuncifera (Benth.) Barneby. It is a legume and a and member of the bean family (Fabaceae) [44,45]. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Catclaw mimosa occurs in central and southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, western and central Texas, and northern Mexico [18,39]. ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES30  Desert shrub    FRES32  Texas savanna    FRES33  Southwestern shrubsteppe    FRES34  Chaparral - mountain shrub    FRES35  Pinyon - juniper    FRES38  Plains grasslands STATES :      AZ  NM  TX  MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :     7  Lower Basin and Range    12  Colorado Plateau    13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K023  Juniper - pinyon woodland    K031  Oak - juniper woodlands    K032  Transition between K031 and K037    K043  Paloverde - cactus shrub    K044  Creosotebush - tarbush    K058  Grama - tobasa shrubsteppe    K059  Trans-Pecos shrub savanna    K085  Mesquite - buffalograss SAF COVER TYPES :     66  Ashe juniper - redberry (Pinchot) juniper     68  Mesquite    239  Pinyon - juniper    241  Western live oak SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Catclaw mimosa occurs in many vegetation types, generally as scattered plants intermixed with numerous other shrubs.  It is occasionally the most abundant shrub.  In low elevation desert grassland and shrub-steppe types, catclaw mimosa is often associated with other shrubby species, including mesquites (Prosopis spp.), redberry juniper, oneseed juniper (Juniperus monosperma), allthorn (Koeberlimia spinosa), catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii), larchleaf goldenweed (Haplopappus laricifolius), smooth sotol (Dasylirion leiophyllum), Wheeler sotol (D. wheeleri), lechuguilla (Agave lechuguilla), and goldeneye (Viguiera stenoloba) [11,25,36,37].  Catclaw mimosa is a common plant in the lower elevations of Arizona chaparral.  Catclaw acacia and catclaw mimosa sometimes become abundant on drier, rockier, more open sites in Arizona chaparral [30].  Catclaw mimosa occurs as scattered individuals in oak, oak-pine, and evergreen woodlands with an overstory made up of one or more of the following trees: gray oak (Quercus grisea), Arizona white oak (Q. arizonica), Emory oak (Q. emoryi), Mohr's oak (Q. mohriana), Mexican pinyon (Pinus cembroides), pinyon pine (P. edulis), and alligator juniper (Juniperus deppeana) [12,17,29,40].  Associated shrubs in woodlands include fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica), skunkbush sumac (R. trilobata), beargrass (Nolina microcarpa, N. erumperus), birchleaf mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides), Wright silktassel (Garrya wrightii), yerba-de-pasmo (Baccharis pteronoides), and desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides) [12,29,40]. Published classification schemes listing catclaw mimosa as a indicator or dominant are listed below: Vegetation of the Organ Mountains, New Mexico [12] Woodland communities and soils of Fort Bayard, southwestern New Mexico [29]


SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Livestock seldom browse catclaw mimosa; however, it may be used lightly if other forage is scarce [20,39].  Livestock eat the pods [10].  Scaled and Gambel's quail eat the seeds [16].  It is of minor importance as a browse plant for deer and pronghorn [5,39]. PALATABILITY : Catclaw mimosa has dense prickles and a tangled growth form which may account for its relatively low palatability to livestock [10].  The pods are highly palatable to cattle, and the seeds are highly palatable to quail [10,16].  In western Texas, the palatability of catclaw mimosa has been rated good for pronghorn but poor for cattle and sheep [5]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Catclaw mimosa has a tendency to form thickets, which presumably provide hiding and thermal cover for a variety of small wildlife species.  Quail use such thickets [34]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Catclaw mimosa shows potential for erosion control.  Plants have a tendency to form thickets which effectively bind soil [24,39].  OTHER USES AND VALUES : Catclaw mimosa flowers provide a good source of nectar for honey bees [39]. This plant has been studied as a source of biomass for the production of fuels and chemicals.  In comparison with 100 other plant species examined, it yielded substantial amounts of oils, polyphenols, and hydrocarbons [8]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Catclaw mimosa is moderately resistant to phenoxy herbicides [19].


SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Catclaw mimosa is a relatively short, straggling, thicket-forming, deciduous shrub.  It is usually not more than 3 feet (0.9 m) tall but occasionally grows up to about 8 feet (2.4 m) [6,24].  The pubescent, slender, straight to zig-zagging stems are armed with solitary or paired, stout, recurved spines [39].  The bipinnately compound leaves contain 3 to 9 pair of pinnae with 8 to 14 pairs of obtuse, linear to oblong, 0.04 to 0.17 inch (1.0-4.2 mm) long leaflets [39].  Numerous pale to whitish flowers occur in globose heads.  The fruit is a curved or straight legume, 0.75 to 1.5 inch (1.9-3.8 cm) long, 0.13 to 0.17 inch (3.2-4.2 mm) wide, and is constricted between the seeds. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :    Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Catclaw mimosa produces abundant seed.  Seeds are encased within small, narrow pods that split open after ripening [34].  Primary dispersal agents have not been identified, but seed is probably dispersed by animals that eat the pods or seeds.  Catclaw mimosa seeds exhibit high germination rates and germinate over a wide range of temperatures [22]. On the High Plains of west Texas, redberry juniper (Juniperus pinchotii) acts as a nurse plant for catclaw mimosa.  The closed canopy and heavy mulch layer associated with redberry juniper apparently provides a favorable microenvironment for catclaw mimosa seedling establishment [28]. Catclaw mimosa sprouts from the root crown following damage to the aboveground portion of the plant, such as by fire or herbicides [19[. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Catclaw mimosa occurs on gravelly flats, mesas, and rocky slopes in desert grass, desert shrub, interior chaparral, pinyon-juniper, open oak, and pine-oak communities [6,12,24,29,40].  Soils:  In western Texas, catclaw mimosa often occupies soils derived from limestone or igneous rock [34].  Elevation:  Elevational ranges are presented below [4,24,34]: from 2,000 to 5,000 feet (610-1,524 m) in w TX      3,000 to 6,000 feet (914-1,829 m) in AZ      4,300 to 5,600 feet (1,311-1,707 m) in the Rincon Mtns, se AZ SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Catclaw mimosa is a common component of interior chaparral, a vegetation type considered to be a true climatic climax susceptible to large-scale burning [6].  This plant's sprouting ability allows it to become a part of the immediate postfire community.  Individual plants may live to be very old, although the aboveground portion may date back only to the last fire [33]. Catclaw mimosa is considered an invader of desert and semiarid grasslands [20,34].  Fire suppression and livestock grazing are thought to be responsible for the spread of shrubs into what is considered to have been relatively shrub-free grasslands of the Southwest [41]. Although catclaw mimosa is fire tolerant and a high percentage of plants survive fire, a combination of frequent fires, droughts, competition, and browsing by rodents and lagomorphs may have suppressed plants in presettlement times [41].  Cattle reportedly "devour the pods" [10]. This undoubtedly has aided the spread of catclaw mimosa into grasslands because seeds are probably scarified as they pass through the digestive tract and are then deposited in nutrient-rich dung, which aids germination. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : The time of flowering for two Southwestern states is presented below:     State          Time of Flowering        Authority      AZ               May - August            [24]      TX            April - September          [34]


SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Catclaw mimosa is able to sprout from the root crown following top-kill by fire [6,20].  Hibbert and others [19] report that catclaw mimosa is fire tolerant and can rapidly recover by sprouting, even after repeated burns. Catclaw mimosa is common in Arizona chaparral.  Severe wildfires are common in this vegetation type as a result of heavy fuel accumulation and scant early summer rainfall [31].  Fire frequencies are generally between 20 to 80 or 100 years, although some stands may experience longer fire-free intervals [6].  Most chaparral species are well adapted to fire and recover quickly.  It takes at least 20 years before enough fuel accumulates to support a repeat fire, unless the area has been grass seeded [6]. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this taxon may occur by entering the plant name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    Small shrub, adventitious-bud root crown


SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fires generally top-kill catclaw mimosa.  By itself, it provides little fuel because of its open growth form and because its small leaves contribute very little to ground fuels when they drop [25].  However, the fuel of surrounding plants is often enough to ignite catclaw mimosa and cause its stems to burn off [25].  Catclaw mimosa commonly occurs in Arizona chaparral where wildfires are often severe, defoliating all aboveground vegetation and leaving only charred stems and a layer of ash over mineral soil [31]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Following top-kill by fire, catclaw mimosa survives by producing numerous sprouts from the root crown [6,20].  Because plants usually survive fire, density is generally not affected by burning. Although catclaw mimosa was not abundant in a study in desert mountain shrub vegetation in the Guadalupe Mountains, sampling of several 3- to 7-year-old burns showed that its frequency was greater on burned than on unburned sites [1]. Rapid regrowth allows plants to fully recover prefire cover within about 5 years [25,32].  Regrowth of top-killed catclaw mimosa plants was observed following several lightning- and man-caused fires in and near Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico.  Here, top-killed plants sprouted and grew 8 to 10 inches (20-25 cm) in one growing season [25]. Following prescribed spring burns in desert grasslands and oak woodlands in southeastern Arizona, sprouts of catclaw mimosa regained 58 to 67 percent of plant prefire heights within two growing seasons as summarized below [3].                  Emory oak/Arizona white oak       desert grassland                           woodland date sampled        mean height of plants        mean height of plants                   burned area  control area    burned area  control area                    inches/cm    inches/cm       inches/cm    inches/cm Aug 1983 (prefire)  21.8/55.4    17.8/45.4       25.2/63.9    18.7/47.4 Aug 1984 (3 months   8.9/22.6    17.5/44.7        4.9/12.5    11.5/29.2           postfire) Aug 1985 (15 months 14.6/37.0    16.4/41.7       14.6/37.0    15.8/40.1           postfire) This study was part of an extensive of body of research on fire effects in semidesert grassland, oak savanna, and Madrean oak woodlands of southeastern Arizona. See the Research Project Summary of this work for more information on burning conditions, fires, and fire effects on more than 100 species of plants, birds, small mammals, and grasshoppers. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
REFERENCES :  1.  Ahlstrand, Gary M. 1982. Response of Chihuahuan Desert mountain shrub        vegetation to burning. Journal of Range Management. 35(1): 62-65.  [296]  2.  Barneby, Rupert C.; Isely, Duane. 1986. Reevaluation of Mimosa        biumcifera and M. texana (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae). Brittonia. 38(2):        119-122.  [12230]  3.  Bock, Jane H.; Bock, Carl E. 1987. Fire effects following prescribed        burning in two desert ecosystems. Final Report on Cooperative Agreement        No. 28-03-278. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 20 p.        [12321]  4.  Bowers, Janice E.; McLaughlin, Steven P. 1987. Flora and vegetation of        the Rincon Mountains, Pima County, Arizona. Desert Plants. 8(2): 50-94.        [495]  5.  Buechner, Helmut K. 1950. Life history, ecology, and range use of the        pronghorn antelope in Trans-Pecos Texas. American Midland Naturalist.        43(2): 257-354.  [4084]  6.  Cable, Dwight R. 1975. Range management in the chaparral type and its        ecological basis: the status of our knowledge. Res. Pap. RM-155. Fort        Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 30 p.  [579]  7.  Carmichael, R. S.; Knipe, O. D.; Pase, C. P.; Brady, W. W. 1978. Arizona        chaparral: plant associations and ecology. Res. Pap. RM-202. Fort        Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 16 p.  [3038]  8.  Carr, Merle E.; Mason, Charles T., Jr.; Bagby, Marvin O. 1986. Renewable        resources from Arizona trees and shrubs. Forest Ecology and Management.        16: 155-167.  [3053]  9.  Correll, Donovan S.; Johnston, Marshall C. 1970. Manual of the vascular        plants of Texas. Renner, TX: Texas Research Foundation. 1881 p.  [4003] 10.  Dayton, William A. 1931. Important western browse plants. Misc. Publ.        101. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 214 p.  [768] 11.  Dick-Peddie, William A.; Alberico, Michael S. 1977. Fire ecology study        of the Chisos Mountains, Big Bend National Park, Texas: Phase I. CDRI        Contribution No. 35. Alpine, TX: The Chihuahuan Desert Research        Institute. 47 p.  [5002] 12.  Dick-Peddie, W. A.; Moir, W. H. 1970. Vegetation of the Organ Mountains,        New Mexico. Science Series No. 4. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State        University, Range Science Department. 28 p.  [6699] 13.  Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and        Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p.  [905] 14.  Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others].        1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range        ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p.  [998] 15.  Gehlbach, Frederick R. 1967. Vegetation of the Guadalupe Escarpment, New        Mexico-Texas. Ecology. 48(3): 404-419.  [5149] 16.  Graham, Edward H. 1941. Legumes for erosion control and wildlife. Misc.        Publ. 412. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 153 p.        [10234] 17.  Hastings, James R.; Turner, Raymond M. 1965. The changing mile: An        ecological study of vegetation change with time in the lower mile of an        arid and semiarid region. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press. 317        p.  [10533] 18.  Hastings, James R.; Turner, Raymond M.; Warren, Douglas K. 1972. An        atlas of some plant distributions in the Sonoran Desert. Technical        Reports on the Meteorology and Climatology of Arid Regions No. 21.        Tuscon, AZ: University of Arizona, Institute of Atmospheric Physics. 255        p.  [10534] 19.  Hibbert, Alden R.; Davis, Edwin A.; Scholl, David G. 1974. Chaparral        conversion potential in Arizona: Part I: water yield response and        effects on other resources. Res. Pap. RM-126. Fort Collins, CO: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and        Range Experiment Station. 36 p.  [1144] 20.  Humphrey, Robert R. 1960. Arizona range grasses: Description--forage        value--management. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, Agricultural        Experiment Station. 104 p.  [5004] 21.  Isely, Duane. 1971. Legumes of the United States. IV. Mimosa. American        Midland Naturalist. 85(2): 410-424.  [12980] 22.  Jordan, Gilbert L.; Haferkamp, Marshal R. 1989. Temperature responses        and calculated heat units for germination of several range grasses and        shrubs. Journal of Range Management. 42(1): 41-45.  [6083] 23.  Kartesz, John T.; Kartesz, Rosemarie. 1980. A synonymized checklist of        the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Volume        II: The biota of North America. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North        Carolina Press; in confederation with Anne H. Lindsey and C. Richie        Bell, North Carolina Botanical Garden. 500 p.  [6954] 24.  Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock,        Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of        California Press. 1085 p.  [6563] 25.  Kittams, Walter H. 1973. Effect of fire on vegetation of the Chihuahuan        Desert region. In:  Proceedings, annual Tall Timbers fire ecology        conference; 1972 June 8-9; Lubbock, Texas. No. 12. Tallahassee, FL: Tall        Timbers Research Station: 427-444.  [6271] 26.  Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation        of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York:        American Geographical Society. 77 p.  [1384] 27.  Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession        following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall        Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council        fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No.        14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373.  [1496] 28.  McPherson, Guy R.; Wright, Henry A.; Wester, David B. 1988. Patterns of        shrub invasion in semiarid Texas grasslands. American Midland        Naturalist. 120(2): 391-397.  [7197] 29.  Medina, Alvin L. 1987. Woodland communities and soils of Fort Bayard,        southwestern New Mexico. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of        Science. 21: 99-112.  [3978] 30.  Pase, Charles P.; Brown, David E. 1982. Interior chaparral. In: Brown,        David E., ed. Biotic communities of the American Southwest--United        States and Mexico. Desert Plants. 4(1-4): 95-99.  [1826] 31.  Pase, Charles P.; Granfelt, Carl Eric, tech. coords. 1977. The use of        fire on Arizona rangelands. Arizona Interagency Range Committee        Publication No. 4. [Place of publication unknown]: [Arizona Interagency        Range Committee]. 15 p.  [1827] 32.  Pase, Charles P.; Pond, Floyd W. 1964. Vegetation changes following the        Mingus Mountain burn. Res. Note RM-18. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range        Experiment Station. 8 p.  [5700] 33.  Pond, Floyd W. 1971. Chaparral: 47 years later. Res. Pap. RM-69. Fort        Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 11 p.  [1905] 34.  Powell, A. Michael. 1988. Trees & shrubs of Trans-Pecos Texas including        Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks. Big Bend National Park,        TX: Big Bend Natural History Association. 536 p.  [6130] 35.  Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant        geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p.  [2843] 36.  Scifres, C. J. 1980. Mesquite - 68. In: Eyre, F. H., ed. Forest cover        types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of        American Foresters: 71-72.  [7089] 37.  Brown, David E. 1982. Semidesert grassland. In: Brown, David E., ed.        Biotic communities of the American Southwest--United States and Mexico.        Desert Plants. 4(1-4): 123-131.  [3603] 38.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1994. Plants        of the U.S.--alphabetical listing. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 954 p.  [23104] 39.  Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest.        Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p.  [7707] 40.  Whittaker, R. H.; Niering, W. A. 1965. Vegetation of the Santa Catalina        Mountains, Arizona: a gradient analysis of the south slope. Ecology. 46:        429-452.  [9637] 41.  Wright, Henry A.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1982. Fire ecology: United States        and southern Canada. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 501 p.  [2620] 42.  Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern        Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire        Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p.  [20090] 43.  U.S. Department of the Interior, National Biological Survey. [n.d.]. NP        Flora [Data base]. Davis, CA: U.S. Department of the Interior, National        Biological Survey.  [23119] 44.  Diggs, George M., Jr.; Lipscomb, Barney L.; O'Kennon, Robert J. 1999.        Illustrated flora of north-central Texas. Sida Botanical Miscellany No. 16.        Fort Worth, TX: Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 1626 p. [41214] 45.  Jones, Stanley D.; Wipff, Joseph K.; Montgomery, Paul M. 1997. Vascular plants        of Texas. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 404 p. [28762]