Chamaecrista mimosoides

Author: (L.) Greene

Morphological description (mimosoides Chamaecr compl FT30 )
Herb with woody base or low shrub up to 1 m, erect or decumbent; branches appressed pubescent.

Leaves with 20-80 pairs of leaflets(mimos Chamaecr infl 428823 ), sensitive to touch; stipules linear, acute, 5-10 mm, persistent; petioles 3-10 mm, with a flat, discoid, sessile gland just below the lowest pair of leaflets; rachis serrate or crenate, crested along upper side, not canaliculate, sparsely pubescent, 3-10 cm. Leaflets sessile, linear, very unequal-sided with more or less parallel sides, (2-)4-8 by 1-2 mm (middle ones), glabrous, sparsely ciliate along the margins; apex acute mucronate, base oblique truncate.

Flowers supra-axillary, mostly solitary, sometimes 2-3 together in a very short raceme (mimos Chamaecr infl 428823); bracts like the stipules; bracteoles similar to the stipules but smaller; pedicels pubescent, 5-10 mm. Sepals lanceolate, 4-8 mm long. Petals bright yellow, obovate to orbicular, equal to or slightly longer than sepals, claw short. Stamens 10-7, filaments 1-2 mm, anthers straight, 2-4 mm, opening by apical pores. Ovary covered with stiff, appressed hairs; style glabrous, recurved; stigma flat, ciliate.

Pods flat, strap-shaped, with scattered appressed hairs to nearly glabrous, 3-6 by 0.5 cm (mimosoides Chamaec gl/pod FT30).

Seeds 10-20, brown, smooth, flat, 4 by 2 mm.

Origin probably in continental SE Asia; it is usually regarded as introduced in the Malesian area and in Africa, as well as in the neotropics. It is a very common species all over tropical Asia.

Mainly found in open grassland; also weedy in sunny open places. It occurs from sea level up to 2300 m.

Of little use; according to de Wit (1956: 283) it has been tried as a green manure in tea plantations on Sumatra. Possible medicinal value is discussed by Quisumbing, Med. Pl. Philipp. (1951) 382. See also Burk., Dict. Econ. Prod. Malay Penins. (1935) 477; K. Heyne, Nutt. Pl. Indon., ed. 3 (1950) 744.

A widespread and polymorphous species not yet fully understood; Larsen & Ding Hou (1996: 569) have not maintained de Wit's forma perennis (de Wit, 1956: 285) as this is certainly only one of the several ecotypes.