Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Giant sensitive plant (450)

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  • Widespread. Africa, Asia, North, South and Central America, Caribbean, Europe, Oceania. In most Pacific islands.
  • Important, invasive, weed of plantations, upland rice, food crop gardens, pastures, roadsides, waste sites. Fast growing, smothering other species, flowering early and producing much seed with long survival. Cattle avoid it.
  • Stems, 4-sided with short, stiff, backward-pointing thorns. Leaves, alternate along stems, bright green, 10-20 cm long, divided into 4-9 pairs of leaf-like segments, each with 12-30 pairs of leaflets. Flowerheads, a cluster of pink to purple, individual flowers, with long stamens forming fluffy balls, on short prickly stalks. Seedpods, soft, spiny, in clusters, breaking into 2-4, 1-seeded parts.
  • Spread: seeds by birds, other animals, clothing, in flowing water; use as a ground cover; moved in road materials; as pasture seed contaminant.
  • Biosecurity: high risk of introduction. Among 10 worst weeds in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands. In Australia, 'restricted invasive plant': do not release into environment, give away or sell.
  • Biocontrol: Heteropsylla spinulosa, psyllid, introduced into Australia, PNG, Samoa. Fungus, Corynespora cassiicola, has potential.
  • Cultural control: before flowering, hand weed (use gloves or hoe!) or slash; vehicle hygiene.
  • Chemical control: in Australia: dicamba; diuron; fluroxypyr; glufosinate-ammonium. In Fiji, glyphosate. Apply to regrowth after slashing or burning.
Common Name

Giant sensitive plant; it is also known as nila grass in Papua New Guinea. CABI prefers the name creeping sensitive plant. CABI calls Mimosa pigra, giant sensitive plant.

Scientific Name

Mimosa diplotricha. It was known previously as Mimosa invisa. It is a member of the Fabaceae.

AUTHORS Grahame Jackson, Aradhana Deesh & Mani Mua
Adapted from Giant sensitive weed (Mimosa diplotricha) (2018) Weeds of SE Qld and Northern NSW. Lucidcentral. (; and additional information from 1Waterhouse DF, Norris KR (1987) Mimosa invissa Martius ex Colla. Biological Control Pacific Prospects. Inkata Press, Melbourne; and CABI (2019) Mimosa diplotricha (giant sensitive plant). Crop Protection Compendium. (; and from DAF (2020) Giant sensitive plant Mimosa diplotricha (=Mimosa invisa). The State of  Queensland. (h Photo 1 Obsidian Soul Giant_false_sensitive_plant_(Mimosa_diplotricha)_from_Mindanao,_Philippines_1. Photo 4 Challiyan at ml.wikipedia. Photo 5 Giant Sensitive plant Name Mimosa diplotricha Family Fabaceae.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland, in association with the Pacific Community and Koronivia Research Station, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji.

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