About Sensitive Briar: Technically a legume, this plant’s unusual name comes from its characteristic wilting when touched or shaken by wind. Any disturbance stimulates the movement of water through the interior of the plant’s cells, which causes the dramatic folding of the leaves. The genus name Mimosa comes from the Greek word for “mimic,” describing this reaction. The species name honors Thomas Nuttall, an influential botanist.
Sensitive Briar Germination: Direct sow in early spring. To soften the hard coating on these seeds, rub them lightly with sandpaper or soak them in warm water overnight before sowing. Sow them in early spring, planting on the surface of the soil since light helps them germinate. Keep the soil lightly moist until germination, which usually occurs within 21-30 days. The seed can also be started indoors. Transplant seedlings as soon as they can safely be handled and there is no chance of frost.
Growing Sensitive Briar Seeds: Water seedlings occasionally until they become established; they usually will not produce blooms until their second year of growth, due to the development of their tap root. Mature plants tolerate drought well and flourish in dry or rocky areas; they usually do not spread. This plant’s unusual flowers attract bees, butterflies, and birds.
Harvesting Sensitive Briar: These blossoms do not perform well as cut flowers, and are best enjoyed outdoors.
Saving Sensitive Briar Seeds: This plant will eventually produce rough 3-5” pods that will split and release their seeds. Harvest the pods as soon as they have begun to dry, but before they split open. Separate the seeds from the pods. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Sensitive Briar Info: Origin: US Native Wildflower Other Common Names: Cat's Claw, Nuttall's Sensitive Brier, Bashful Brier, Shame-boy, Devil's Shoestrings, Sensitive Briar Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Summer Height: 24-48 inches Spacing: 12-48 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Medium to Dry USDA Zone: 4a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 2,400 Produces a trailing, vine-like plant with prickly stems, fern-like foliage, and 1/2 to 1 1/2" bright pink globular flowers.