CATCLAW SENSITIVE BRIAR
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Mimosa quadrivalvis  L.  var. nuttallii  (DC. ) L. S. Beard ex  Barneby
[=Schrankia nuttallii  (DC. ) Standl.]
Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 1-2 feet tall
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August, September
Stems: Sprawling, 1-6 feet long, strongly ribbed, covered with hooked prickles.
Leaves: Alternate, stalked, 2 to 6 inches long, 2-pinnately compound with 4-8 segment pairs, each segment 1 to 2 inches long, with 8-15 pairs of leaflets; leaflets elliptic, to 1/3 inch long, somewhat thick, glabrous, midrib prominent.
Inflorescences: Heads, dense, spherical, 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter, stalks 1 to 3 inches long, in leaf axils.
Flowers: Numerous, tiny, sessile, pink to lavender; calyces minute, 5-lobed; petals 5, united; stamens 8-12, filaments pink, anthers yellow.
Fruits: Pods, linear, 1 to 5 inches long, strongly ribbed, prickly; seeds many, nearly square, smooth.
Habitat: Prairies, open woodlands, ravines, and roadsides, most abundant in dry, rocky or sandy soils.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Forage Value: Catclaw sensitive briar is very nutritious for livestock, which will seek it out. It is an important indicator of range condition, decreasing when overgrazed.
Comments: The leaflets are sensitive to touch and will fold together when disturbed. The tiny flowers are rarely seen due to the overshadowing stamens.

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