Giant sensitive plant

Giant sensitive plant

Mimos diplotricha

Common Name:

Giant sensitive plant

Scientific Name:

Mimos diplotricha

Alternative common names:

 Balna sael, boring, makahiang malake, creeping sensitive plant.


The giant sensitive plant is indigenous to Brazil in South America. It is a shrubby or sprawling annual that climbs over other vegetation, behaves as a perennial in favourable conditions and is known to invade pastures, cane fields and crops.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Brazil, Mexico, Cuba and Argentina.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Not on legislation.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Gauteng, Limpopo.

How does it spread?

The seeds are spread by running water, machinery, stock and contaminated earth.

Why is it a problem?

It causes loss of crops and pasture production as it chokes crops, grassland and cane.

What does it look like?

It has prickly stems, 3m long. The prickles are 6mm long and curve downwards.

Leaves: Bright green, feathery, 10-20cm long.

Flowers: Small, pink, clustered in fluffy balls.

Fruit/seeds: Spiny seed pods. Seeds are flat, brown and glossy, 2-3mm long.

Does the plant have any uses?

It is used as a medicinal plant and the wood is used as fuel.

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