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Mimosa scabrella Benth.

Syn.: Mimosa bracatinga

Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.

  1. Uses
  2. Folk Medicine
  3. Chemistry
  4. Description
  5. Germplasm
  6. Distribution
  7. Ecology
  8. Cultivation
  9. Harvesting
  10. Yields and Economics
  11. Energy
  12. Biotic Factors
  13. References


Regarded as a useful living fence post or ornamental avenue tree. Useful for reforestation. It sheds copious leaves forming a good humus. Makes an excellent fuel wood. Though its pulp is inferior to Eucalyptus saligna it is promising for printing and writing papers (fibers average 1.1–1.2 mm long). Used for coffee shade in Guatemala, where Standley and Steyermark (1946) say, "The coffee plantations shaded by bracatinga are very handsome, for the trees are uniform in height, their crowns far above the coffee bushes... The bracatinga has been much advertised in tropical America in recent years as a tree suitable for reforestation...until better trees could take its place."

Folk Medicine

No data available.


I find no data on this species. Mimosa hostilis reportedly contains the hallucinogen N,N-dimethyltryptamine, and is used in making a beverage which translates "Wine of Jurema." Interestingly, this species is called catinga instead of bracatinga.


Unarmed tree to 15 m tall, 40 cm in diameter, with sparse broad crown, the trunk branching shortly above the base; bark whitish, young branchlets lepidote. Leaves bipinnate; the pinnae mostly 5–7 pairs; leaflets 25–35 pairs, oblong-linear, obtuse, stellate, subterminal peduncles ca 1.5 cm long, the heads about 7.5 mm in diameter. Sepals glabrous, ca 1.2 mm long. Corolla 4-lobed, stellate tomentose, ca 3.5 mm long. Stamens 4. Pods sessile, oblong-linear, obtuse, verrucose-tomentose 20–25 x 5–6 mm 2–4-jointed. Seeds castaneous, 3–4 mm long.


Reported from the South American Center of Diversity, bracatinga, or cvs thereof, is reported not to tolerate wet soils which tend to stunt its growth.


Native to the cool subtropical Parana plains of Southeastern Brazil although Standley and Steyermark (1946) have reported its introduction into Guatemala. Small plots have been established in Argentina, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Portugal, El Salvador, Senegal, Spain, Venezuela, and Zaire.


Estimated to range from Tropical to Subtropical Moist Forest Life Zones. Grows in many types of well-drained soils. Grows at 2,400 m in Guatemala.


Easily planted by seed, 3–4 seed sown in depressions 3–4 cm deep. Spaced at 2–3 m. Readily cultivates in plantations, even at exceptionally close spacings (NAS, 1979).


Some plantations have been harvested on rotations of only 3 years.

Yields and Economics

May attain 15 m tall in 3 years, 8–9 m in 2 years, and 5 m in 14 months.


Before the advent of the diesel, bracatinga was grown to fuel Brazilian railroads. Although the plant is reported to fix nitrogen, Allen and Allen (1981) do not cite it as a nodulated species.

Biotic Factors

Agriculture Handbook No. 165 lists the following diseases for Mimosa spp.: Cylindrosporium sp. (leaf spot), Lipocystis caesalpiniae (rust), Meliola bicornis and Meliola denticulata (black mildew), Phymatotrichum omni-vorum (root rot), Ramularia mimosae (leaf spot), Ravenelia dysocarpae (rust), and Ravenelia fragrans (rust). Golden (p.c. 1984) reports the nematode Meloidogyne incognita acrita.


Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
Last update Wednesday, January 7, 1998 by aw