|Mimosa strigillosa's puffball flower.|
Just before the rain Friday morning, few butterflies were on the wing in the butterfly garden, but the gray skies evened out the light so the flowers looked wonderful. The small Mimosa strigillosa flowers were perfectly beautiful. This is a mat-forming legume that is a great groundcover candidate, and it may be a host for the Little Yellow butterfly, Eurema lisa. I’ve planted some in a sunny part of our yard, with the hope that it will creep across the mulch and snuff out any remaining nut grass. The flowers are little round puffs of pink/lavender stamens each topped with a golden drop of pollen. Because it is a legume, this mimosa (its common name is sunshine mimosa) captures nitrogen and enriches the soil. And, like Mimosa pudica or the sensitive plant, the leaves fold when touched, as when it rains.