Mimosopsis grahamii (A.Gray) Britton & Rose
Mimosa grahamii is a spreading to decumbent, prickly shrub producing a number of stems from near the rootstock; the plant grows 30 - 60cm tall.
The seed of this species is very nutritious and has a higher digestibility than most cultivated legumes. It has excellent potential for use as a human food[
Southwestern N. America - southwest New Mexico, southeast Arizona, northern Mexico (Chihuahua, Durango, Sonora).
Scattered on dry, shrub-covered slopes.
Mimosa grahamii is native to areas of low rainfall in southwest Usa and northern Mexico. It is unlikely to experience more than occasional light frosts.
The seeds are rich in protein (they contain around 30% protein, 43% carbohydrate and 23% fat) and have potential for use as a human food[
]. The dried, powdered seed has an excellent digestibility rating of 84%, increasing to 90% when cooked - this is higher than for many of the commonly eaten legume foods. The seeds are also very low in antinutritional factors, including trypsin inhibitors, phenols, alkaloids and haemagglutinin, and these do not present in high enough concentration to constitute a nutritional problem. These antinutritional factors are soluble in saline solutions and can be removed by soaking or during cooking[
The seedpods are up to 4cm long, containing 5 -6 seeds.
Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have ripened and dried the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing[