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Desmanthus illinoensis

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Kemper Code:  G490

Common Name: prairie bundleflower
Zone: 5 to 8
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Fabaceae
Missouri Native: Yes
Native Range: North, Central, and South America
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Bloom Time: June  
Bloom Color: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low

Plant Culture and Characteristics

Sources for this plant

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

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:

Prairie mimosa (also commonly called Illinois mimosa and 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.


No serious insect or disease problems.


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

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011