Desmanthus illinoensis Illinois Bundleflower
Seeds and Potted Plants
(des-MAN-thus  il-i-noen-sis)

Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
Native Wild Flower Seed and Plants
 for Home Landscaping and Prairie Restorations

Desmanthus illinoiensis Illinois Bundleflower picture to be added later Habitat Bloom Period Color Height Inches Moisture Plant Spacing Lifespan
 sun July white 36 to 60 dry to moist 12 to 24 inches Perennial

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Desmanthus illinoensis Illinois Bundleflower 

 Desmanthus illinoiensis
  Illinois Bundleflower

number of seeds

approximate coverage
in square feet

1 packet -

150 30 sq ft

1 ounce -

 4,670 230 sq ft

1 pound -

 74,720 5,680 sq ft

Desmanthus illinoensis, Illinois Bundleflower, also called Prairie Mimosa, has double compound leaves giving it a fernlike appearance. The  white flowers bloom from mid June to August and produce fruit in a round cluster of 1&1/2 inch twisted, curved, wafer like pods.  Illinois Bundleflower normally grows 2 to 3 feet tall but grows up to 5 feet high in rich soil.  Its seeds are eaten by wildlife and the foliage has a high protein content and is nutritious for livestock.  It is drought-resistant and adapts to a wide array of soil and climate conditions.  

Native Desmanthus illinoensis Illinois Bundleflower wildflowers occur naturally in prairies, glades, pastures, and roadsides from Alabama to Texas, north to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Colorado.  Fabiaceae (Bean Family)

The map below shows areas where native Illinois Bundleflower plants grow wild but it can be planted and will grow over a much wider area than shown.  USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9.

Desmanthus illinoensis
Illinois Bundle Flower


New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
South Carolina

South Dakota
West Virginia

State Distributional Map for DEIL

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PO Box  522
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Phone 417-469-2611 

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Desmanthus illinoensis Illinois Bundleflower Plant information and distribution map complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
  ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.













The recommended seeding rate is 2 1/2 pound PLS per acre for a pure stand. For rangeland and critical area treatment, 1 pound PLS per acre is recommended for inclusion within the seeding mixture. Seed should be planted at a depth of 1/2 to 1 inch. The seed should be inoculated with Desmanthus Spec. 1 type of inoculum. Scarification of the seed that may improve germination, particularly where “hard” seed comprises a large percentage of the lot. Seedings may be made in early spring or late fall. A late fall seeding may prechill and stimulate better emergence of hard seed. Non-hard seed normally germinates in 7 to 14 days. Seedling vigor is very good.

Illinois Bundleflower is recommended for use in rangeland, wildlife habitat improvement, critical area seeding treatments, and in roadsides, parks, and recreation areas for stabilization and beautification.

Reno Germplasm is a native, warmseason, perennial legume. Plants are deep rooted, upright, spreading, and grow to a mature height of 2 to 4 feet. Somewhat woody in the lower stem, the leaves are compound with 20 to 30 pairs of small linear leaflets. Growth begins in late spring with flowering occurring from June through September. The seed pods are grouped into round, dark brown bundles with pods 3 to 4 times as long as wide. Each pod contains 2 to 6 beans that may burst open when mature to disperse the seed. There are approximately 85,000 seeds per pound. Palatability and nutritious quality for the species is rated as good for livestock and wildlife. The seeds are used by numerous species of wildlife.

This species is found through much of the Great Plains from North Dakota south through eastern Colorado to New Mexico and Texas and east to Ohio and Florida. It is adapted to most soil types, but does not tolerate coarse sands and dense clays. It has good drought tolerance, but performs best in areas with at least 16 inches of annual precipitation. It is most commonly found in moist depressions and tolerates moderate flooding. It can tolerate moderate salinity and alkalinity levels. Reno Germplasm has application for use in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. The projected area of adaptation for Reno Germplasm is represented on the map. Although the potential range of adaptation may be greater than that shown, performance outside of the shaded area has not been adequately tested.

Plantings may take two full growing seasons for full establishment and production. Weed control is essential during the establishment period. Seed fields may be harvested by direct combining. Plantings should be well established before livestock grazing is permitted. The species responds to grazing as a decreaser, rapidly declining under too intense defoliation. Tolerance to burning is fair while in a dormant state. The species is compatible with climax dominants of tallgrass prairie.