Illinois Bundleflower Facts – What Is A Prairie Mimosa Plant


By: Mary Ellen Ellis

The prairie mimosa plant (Desmanthus illinoensis), also known as Illinois bundleflower, is a perennial herb and wildflower that, despite its common name, is native to most of the eastern and central U.S. This is a great plant for native, wildflower, and prairie gardens as well as forage and food for livestock and wildlife.

Illinois Bundleflower Facts

Prairie mimosa wildflowers are native perennial herbs. They can grow up to three feet (90 cm.) tall. The flowers are small and round with white petals. The leaves are like other members of the mimosa family – alternate, compound, and bipinnate. giving the leaves a fern-like appearance. It is a legume, so prairie mimosa enriches soil with nitrogen.

You’ll mostly see Illinois bundleflower growing in meadows or prairies, in disturbed areas, along roadsides, and generally in any type of grasslands. They prefer full sun and soil that drains well and is dry to medium dry. Prairie mimosa tolerates drought and many types of soil.

Growing Prairie Mimosa

Grow prairie mimosa for wildlife for forage, or as part of a native prairie garden. It is not the best choice for more formal beds or for shady, wet, and forested areas. All kinds of animals eat these plants, and the seeds are a good source of protein for all kinds of livestock and wild animals. They also provide cover for smaller wildlife.

If you want to grow Illinois bundleflower, it’s easy to do from seed. You should be able to find seeds easily too. Sow the seeds to a depth of a little less than an inch (2 cm.) in spring. Water regularly until the seeds sprout and grow larger.

Once established, this plant is low maintenance. If it is growing in the right conditions, with drier soil and full sun, you shouldn’t need to do much to keep it growing. Pests and disease usually minor issues with prairie mimosa.

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Desmanthus illinoensis

Desmanthus illinoensis (commonly known as Illinois bundleflower, prairie-mimosa or prickleweed) is a common plant in many areas of the south central and Midwestern US.

  • Acacia brachylobaWilld.
  • Acacia glandulosa(Michx.) Willd.
  • Acuan glandulosa(Michx.) A. Heller
  • Acuan glandulosum(Michx.) A.Heller
  • Acuan illinoense(Michx.) Kuntze
  • Darlingtonia brachyloba(Willd.) DC.
  • Darlingtonia glandulosa(Michx.) DC.
  • Darlingtonia intermediaTorr.
  • Desmanthus brachylobus(Willd.) Benth.
  • Desmanthus falcatusScheele
  • Desmanthus illinoensis(Michx.) Robinson & Fernald
  • Mimosa brachyloba(Willd.) Eaton
  • Mimosa contortuplicataZuccagni
  • Mimosa glandulosaMichx.
  • Mimosa illinoensisMichx.

Illinois Bundleflower Seeds

Desmanthus illinoensis

HOW TO GROW

Sowing: Before planting the Illinois bundleflower seed for sale, pour 180 degrees F water over the seeds and soak them overnight to soften the seed coat and speed germination. After the last frost of spring, direct sow 1/4" deep and keep the soil consistently moist until germination, which should occur within 10-15 days. To start the seed indoors, sow them in a flat 4-6 weeks before the last frost of spring keep the soil lightly moist and at a temperature of 70 degrees F until germination. Thin or transplant seedlings.

Growing: This plant tolerates most soils with the exception of heavy clay. Water seedlings until they have become established mature plants can tolerate some drought, but appreciate occasional watering in dry periods. In favorable locations, this plant will self-sow readily.

Harvesting: This sensitive plant quickly wilts when touched, and is best displayed in the garden or prairie rather than as a cut flower.

Seed Saving: After flowering, this plant will produce unique round clusters of twisted seed pods. When ripe, the dark brown pods will split and reveal the mature reddish brown seeds. Shake the heads over a container to remove the seeds. Store the cleaned seeds in a cool, dry place.

FAST FACTS

Common Names: Prairie Mimosa, Spider Bean

Latin Name: Desmanthus illinoensis

Species Origin: US Native Wildflower

Type: Native Wildflowers

Life Cycle: Perennial

USDA Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

US Regions: Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast

Seeds per Ounce: 4,700

Stratification: No Stratification

Germination Ease: No Stratification

Sunlight: Full Sun

Height: 48 Inches

Color: Cream, Yellow

Bloom Season: Blooms Late Summer

Review By raz

More thank you, pre planter here

I been lookin for good information I'm trying my green thumb out this article was exactly what I needed started up my water and going to plant in three different "waves"- idk.. . as I am in a slightly northern state concerns with the cold going to put a lot seed out and refine my technique from .. well your guide I'm following it exactly thank you . and late summer I can write a follow up. with an abundance of bundleflower. wish me luck

DESCRIPTION

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

This distinctive native plant features unusual coiled seed pods and white flowers. The fern-like foliage is sensitive to light and touch and may wilt temporarily to control temperature and moisture levels. This species is used in many native seed mixes.

Illinois bundleflower (Desmanthus illinoensis) is a nitrogen-fixing legume that provides nutrition for wild animals as well as the soil, since its seeds are a favorite food of birds, deer, antelope, and rodents. This dual purpose gives it the distinction of being one of the most important native legumes. It has a wide range of adaptability, and can be found in many soils and growing conditions. One unique feature of the leaves is their sensitivity to light and touch, resulting in a temporary wilting to control temperature and prevent the loss of moisture. Children of Native American tribes once used the distinctive round seed heads of this plant as rattles.

HOW TO GROW

Sowing: Before planting the Illinois bundleflower seed for sale, pour 180 degrees F water over the seeds and soak them overnight to soften the seed coat and speed germination. After the last frost of spring, direct sow 1/4" deep and keep the soil consistently moist until germination, which should occur within 10-15 days. To start the seed indoors, sow them in a flat 4-6 weeks before the last frost of spring keep the soil lightly moist and at a temperature of 70 degrees F until germination. Thin or transplant seedlings.

Growing: This plant tolerates most soils with the exception of heavy clay. Water seedlings until they have become established mature plants can tolerate some drought, but appreciate occasional watering in dry periods. In favorable locations, this plant will self-sow readily.

Harvesting: This sensitive plant quickly wilts when touched, and is best displayed in the garden or prairie rather than as a cut flower.

Seed Saving: After flowering, this plant will produce unique round clusters of twisted seed pods. When ripe, the dark brown pods will split and reveal the mature reddish brown seeds. Shake the heads over a container to remove the seeds. Store the cleaned seeds in a cool, dry place.

FAST FACTS

Common Names: Prairie Mimosa, Spider Bean

Latin Name: Desmanthus illinoensis

Species Origin: US Native Wildflower

Type: Native Wildflowers

Life Cycle: Perennial

USDA Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

US Regions: Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast

Seeds per Ounce: 4,700

Stratification: No Stratification

Germination Ease: No Stratification

Sunlight: Full Sun

Height: 48 Inches

Color: Cream, Yellow

Bloom Season: Blooms Late Summer


Desmanthus illinoensis Illinois Bundle Flower

Map Key

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

1 Question asked on Desmanthus illinoensis

A Prairie Moon • August 28 This Desmanthus – Illinois Bundle Flower, is not at all invasive. In a prairie, it actually has a hard time surviving because it does not like fire, and it’s a yummy treat to deer, rabbits, and even cattle. It is in the Mimosa family, but not related to the invasive Mimosa species you may be reading about. These European/Asian introduced species to North America are problematic mostly in the southern US. See Invasive Plant Atlas.

Illinois Bundle Flower has no floral scent, another way it differs from introduced Mimosa species. We carry one other North American native plant in the Mimosa family – the Sensitive Plant (Schrankia uncinata) – also not aggressive or invasive.

SEED:

Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

DORMANT BARE ROOT PLANTS:

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

POTTED PLANTS:

Trays of 38 plants and 3-packs leave our Midwest greenhouse based on species readiness (well-rooted for transit) and based on order date Spring shipping is typically early-May through June, and Fall shipping is late-August through September. Plant cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting instructions/care are included with each order.

Shipping & Handling Charges:

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $7.50
over $50.00: 15% of the total plant cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season:

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within a day or two upon receipt.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 38 and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.

Delivery:

We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.

FOR MORE DETAILED SHIPPING INFORMATION, INCLUDING CANADA SHIPPING RATES (SEED ONLY), PLEASE SEE 'SHIPPING' AT THE FOOTER OF THIS WEBSITE.


Establishment

It is easily established from commercially available seed. Bundleflower may be seeded alone at a depth of ½ inch on heavier moister soils or up to 1 inch deep on dryer sandier soil types. Planting into a prepared seed bed with mulch would increase the chance of establishment. Planting in the early to mid spring time would provide optimum moisture conditions for the seedlings. Broadcast planting would require a 50 to 100 percent increase in the amount of seed used. To maximize germination a seed scarification process should be preformed on the seed prior to planting. The seed should also be inoculated with the correct inoculant to cause nodulation of the plants root system.


250 Mimosa Desmanthus Illinois Bundleflower Seeds Reakirt's Butterfly Host Plant

DUE TO THE POST OFFICE RAISING THEIR RATES ONCE AGAIN BY .28 CENTS WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO RAISE SHIPPING COSTS BY .25 CENTS RATHER THAN INCREASE THE COST OF OUR SEEDS. WE WILL INCREASE OUR SHIPPING COSTS FROM $3.50 TO $3.75 ON THE 20TH OF JANUARY.

250 Mimosa Desmanthus Illinois Bundleflower Seeds Reakirt's Butterfly Host Plant

This cream colored native perennial is common throughout the tallgrass prairie and great plains. It is also know as Prairie Mimosa or False Sensitive Plant. Suitable for wildlife and pollinator plantings as well as wildflower seed mixtures. Host plant for the Reakirt's Blue Butterfly.

An American Aya-huasca Analog: Desmanthus Illinoensis Illinois Bundleflower Prairie Mimosa seeds. A natural American prairie grass that is drought tolerant and often used to fight erosion of soils in farmlands and fields and replenish soil nutrients. A very beneficial nitrogen-fixing plant.

Germination: Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost. Or plant outdoors in well-drained soil in early spring, after all danger of frost. Sow seed 1/4" deep, grow in a container, dampen the soil and keep soil damp but not soaked. You can cover your container with a plastic bag or plastic wrap to create a greenhouse effect which will also encourage faster germination and growth. When plant gets two to four inches in height then transplant into a larger pot or container or you can also transplant it outdoors.

Season: Perennial
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 - 8
Height: 36 to 60 Inches
Light: Full Sun
Bloom Season: Summer
Color: White

Average Germ Time: 7 - 21 days
Depth: Plant the seeds 1/4" inch deep
Moisture: Keep seeds moist until germination
Plant Spacing: 12 to 24 inches

ONE FLAT SHIPPING FEE OF $3.75 FOR ORDERS IN THE UNITED STATES NO MATTER HOW MANY SEEDS YOU ORDER. COMBINED SHIPPING APPLIES TO AN UNLIMITED NUMBER OF SEEDS PAID FOR DURING CHECKOUT AT SAME TIME. YOU MUST CHECKOUT WITH ALL SEEDS AT THE SAME TIME, IN THE SAME TRANSACTION IN ORDER TO GET COMBINED SHIPPING.

All orders come with tracking

All Of Our Vegetable Seeds Are Heirloom And Organic Unless Otherwise Stated. All Seeds We Carry Are Either For The Current Growing Season Or For The Next Growing Season To Come Which Is Why Our Seeds Have Such A High Germination Rate And Will Last For Years If Stored Properly. We Do Not Sell Old Seeds. Our Heirloom Seeds Are All Gathered And Packaged By Hand So No Weed Seeds Or Anything Other Than What You Ordered Will Be In Your Seed Packets. We Do Not Carry Any Gmo Or Altered Seeds. All multiple orders of the same seed are put in the same bag. For example if you order 500 beefsteak tomato seeds x 3 then 1500 seeds will be put in the same bag. We do not send out 3 individual bags with 500 in each. This goes for all seeds unless they are listings of different seeds.

All Seeds Will Come In A 2X3 Resealable Plastic Zip Lock Bag, Shipped In A Protective Bubble Mailer With Tracking.

Absolutely No Cancellations Allowed!.

NOTE: ALL GROWING INFO AND INSTRUCTIONS ARE ON ITEM PAGE. THEY DO NOT COME WITH SEEDS IN PACKAGE. We do not ship growing instructions. Germination, plant and growing instructions are available online. If you can’t find germinating and instructions online you can find them on the item page. Our goal is to save money everywhere we can so we can pass those savings on to you.

All of our seeds are fresh every year and are tested every 2 months for viability and germination therefore we know for a fact that any seeds we have up for sale are fresh and have high germination rates. Therefore we are NOT responsible for your growing methods or any weather issues or environmental issues that may cause your seeds not to grow or bad growing methods. There are numerous things that can cause seeds not to germinate, too much water, not enough water, growing in wrong season, heat, cold and many more causes so we will not in any way be responsible for your seeds not growing since we know our seeds are fresh and we grow them ourselves every 2 months.

NOTE: Due to the fact that etsy is now forcing some sellers, such as our store, to advertise and pay for it whether we want to advertise or not there are absolutely no cancellations allowed. Please note that once you purchase we will cannot cancel an order for any reason. I do apologize for but Etsy will not refund advertising fees even when we would cancel an order therefore we have no choice but to do this.


Watch the video: How to Grow a Mimosa Tree


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