Mimosa distachya var. laxiflora

Botanical Name

Mimosa distachya Cavanilles var. laxiflora (Bentham) Barneby

Common Name(s)

  • gatuña (Spanish)

Legume Clades

Native Geographic Range

  • Southwestern North America

IUCN Status

Growth Form


Cultivation Status in AZ



Drought- and cold-deciduous shrubs to 8 ft (2.5 m) high with smooth, brownish bark. The stems are armed with recurved prickles or sometimes unarmed. Leaves are bipinnate with 2--5 pairs of pinnae. Each pinna has 2--5 pairs of leaflets. Spike-like inflorescences of numerous pink flowers are produced in late spring and summer.


Native to Sonora and adjacent Chihuahua and Sinaloa, Mexico, and rare in southern Arizona. The species is found in the Sonoran Desert and in thornscrub and tropical dry forest on ridges, slopes, and along arroyos.


None reported.


Gatuña is rarely cultivated. The plants have showy flowers during the summer. Plants should be sited away from traffic area due to the prickly stems. Supplemental irrigation is necessary to maintain appearance in hot weather. The stems are damaged below 23° F (5° C) but recovery is usually rapid. Litter is minimal.