Desmanthus Species, Illinois Bundleflower, Prairie Bundle Flower, Prairie Mimosa, Spider Bean

Desmanthus illinoensis

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Desmanthus (des-MAN-thus) (Info)
Species: illinoensis (il-lin-oh-EN-sis) (Info)
Synonym:Desmanthus illinoensis
Synonym:Mimosa illinoensis




Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Highgrove, California

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Glouster, Ohio

Hamilton, Ohio

Loveland, Ohio

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Dallas, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Snyder, Texas

Madison, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 6, 2016, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This must be a tough plant, because I dug mine up on Grand Isle, La., which is subject to extreme heat and winds much of the year, to say nothing of hurricanes. A truly splendid plant, one of the most elegant on the planet, in my opinion at least. The seed pod bundles are long-lasting, shiny, and would be ideal in dried flower arrangements. As noted by others, the plant fixes nitrogen (basically grabs N from the air and excretes it from the roots), hence your whole garden will benefit from growing it. No leaf disease problems. Certainly a plant that exemplifies American exceptionalism. To me it has a very "Asian" / tropical look. Much like the plant itself, the flowers have an understated beauty. To top it all off, it lacks the spines and large size of a similar-looking plant, the acacia.


On Apr 23, 2007, rkruvand from Huntsville, AL (Zone 7a) wrote:

Health hazards: There are no known documented cases of adverse reactions to the consumption of Desmanthus illinoensis foliage, however other plant parts are to be considered poisonous due to the high alkaloid content.

Legal status: The plant itself is not named as a controlled botanical. N,N-DMT which is contained in significant quantities in the root bark is considered a schedule-1 substance by the DEA.


On Oct 11, 2004, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Illinois bundleflower has be found to contain compounds which have antibacterial properties. The Pawnee Indians used a wash prepared from the boiled leaves to treat itch. It is very high in protein making it valuable as a forage for all classes of livestock.


On Jan 3, 2004, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx.
The prairie mimosa is a herbaceous perennial which natively ranges from Ohio to Colorado, Florida, Texas, and New Mexico. Having fine mimosa-like foliage and strongly angled, smooth, woody, erect stems which branch from the base of the plant, it grows up to 6 feet wide and tall. It prefers full sun (tolerates partial sun) and moist to average conditions, although some drought is tolerated. In fact, it ranges from dry rocky areas to damp banks. Growth is best in fertile loam, but it adapts well to other types of soil. Containing beneficial nitrogen fixating bacteria in its deep tap root and side roots, it will grow in poor soils. Because it fixes high amounts of nitrogen in the soil, it is employed to rejuvenate worn-out soil. Due to its fast root growth and the fact... read more