Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera

Wait-a-Bit or Wait-a-Minute Bush - Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera
Ready Pay Gulch
East of Hillsboro, NM, USA
June 2016

Just plain annoying, that is what the Wait-a-Minute Bush (aka Wait-a-Bit Bush, Paired-thorn Mimosa, and Catclaw Mimosa), Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera is.  Anyone who has walked along the lower to middle elevation slopes of the Black Range has had to wait a while when they encounter this bush.  Finding it in front of you is always a good reason for a rest as you consider the ways around it.  This species is a rather substantial bush, often growing as tall as an adult human and having a breadth equal to its height.  It is typically massive in form, see bottom below. The numerous thorns, much like those of roses, are the reason you don’t simply plow through it, they are sharp and sturdy, often arranged in pairs on each side of the stem.

Common names of this species in Spanish include; Gatuño, Gatuña, Uña de Gato, and Garruño.  Scientific synonyms for the subspecies include; Mimosa biuncifera, Mimosa biuncifera var. glabrescens, Mimosa biuncifera var. lindheimeri, Mimosa lindheimeri,  Mimosa warnockii, and Mimosopsis biuncifera.

Within its range this species is fairly common (see BONAP map to the right - light green means the species is native and “not rare” in the county).  In addition to the range within the US, this subspecies is found in much of Mexico (Chihuahua,  Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes,  Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, and Queretaro).

The beans of this species are eaten by Pronghorn, Scaled Quail, and Gambel’s Quail (as well as domestic sheep and cattle).  It is also a good source of nectar for honey bees.

The species was first described by Casimiro Gómez de Ortega a Spanish botanist who described species from plants collected in the Americas.  The subspecies was first described by Rupert Charles Barneby in 1991.

The specimen shown below was collected by Palmer, in Mexico.


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© Robert Barnes 2018