Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • Illinois Bundle Flower

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Desmanthus illinoensis

    COMMON NAMES: Illinois Bundle Flower, Prairie Bundle-flower, Prairie Mimosa

    BLOOM TIME: July, Aug

    Midwin National Tallgrass Prairie credit R. Kapala


    • Of 2 species of mimosa this one grows in Illinois.
    • It grows to a bushy 4 ft. plant.
    • Dissected paired leaves give a fern-like appearance.
    • Small round flower clusters have long stamens and so look “fuzzy”.
    • After flowering, flowerheads replaced by clusters of rattling seedpods.
    • Habitat: moist, black soil prairies.
    • Planted in pastures to feed cattle.
    • Used in prairie restoration to improve soil.
    • Children of some tribes used dried seed pods as rattles.
    • Pawnee used boiled leaves to relieve itching.   


    Flowerheads are occasionally visited by small bees & flies seeking nectar & pollen.

    Medium-sized seeds are consumed by various upland gamebirds, including Ring-Necked Pheasant, Bobwhite Quail, & Greater Prairie Chicken.

    Foliage of plant is highly palatable to mammalian herbivores because of its high protein content.