Biology

Mimosaceae Family Plants, Characteristics & Economic Importance

(Mimosa or Acacia family)

Mimosaceae family plants have 56 genera and about 2800 species. There are 11 genera and 49 species in Pakistan. Only 4 genera or 18 species are native (originally present). The remaining species are introduced.mimosaceae family plants

Familiar Plants

  • Acacia nhlotica
  • Albizzia lebbek
  • Mimosa pudica, Touch me not.
  • Prosopis glandulosa
  • Prosopis cineraria

Vegetative Characters Mimosaceae Family

  1. Habit: Mostly trees or shrubs, rarely climbers or herbs. Most of them are xerophytes (desert plants).
  2. Stem: Mostly woody
  3. Leaves: They have pinnate, compound alternate, stipulate leaves. The stipules are modified into thrones.

Floral Characters Mimosaceae Family

  1. Inflorescence: It is spike-like or head or umbel. It is rarely racemose or Globose umbel.
  2. Flowers: The flower is bisexual, actinomorphic, hypogynous to slightly perigynous and bracteate.
  3. Calyx: They have 5 sepals. These sepals are fused, toothed or lobed.
  4. Corolla: They have 5 petals. These petals may be free or fused.
  5. Androecium: Stamens are five to-numerous. They are free, adnate or attached to the base of corolla (epipetalous).
  6. Gynoecium: They have simple one carpel. The ovary is unilocular and superior. It has many ovules. The placentation is marginal.
  7. Fruit: Fruit is a legume. It may be dehiscent and indehiscent.

Economic Importance of Mimosaceae family plants

  1. Wood Many trees, for example, Acacia, Albizzia and Xylia of this family provide commercially important wood. This wood is used for construction, for furniture or for fuel. The wood of Albizzia lebbek is used in cabinetwork and railway carriage.
  2. Gum: Gum is obtained from Acacia nilotica and Acacia Senegal.
  3. Dye: A dye Katha is obtained from Acacia catechu.
  4. Medicinal plants: The tender leaves of Acacia nilotica are used as a blood purifier.
  5. Ornamental plants: Some common plants are grown for their beautiful flowers. Some of these are Mimosa pudica and Acacia melanoxy├şon.
  6. Wind breaking: A few species of Prosopis are planted in the arid zones for breaking the wind pressure.

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