Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Mimosa bush (489)

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  • Worldwide distribution. In Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu.
  • Important invasive shrub, small tree, forming thickets, impeding mustering and access to water. Thorns prevent creational activities. Tolerant to range of soil types of different pH. Prefers full sun to shade, low rainfall (but tolerates high if long dry season), resistant to drought and fire. Common in natural and managed grasslands, along creeks and river banks, disturbed areas, cultivated agricultural land.
  • Fast growing, up to 7m, thorny. Branches zigzag; leaves yellowish-green, 2-8 'branches', each with 5-20 narrow leaflets. Flowers, yellow, fluffy, 1cm diameter, fragrant, on hairy stalks from leaf forks. Seeds in pith of cigar-shaped brown pods.
  • Spread: seeds dispersed by livestock; deliberate introduction for fodder crops, and for scented flowers.
  • Biosecurity: fodder species, ornamental, ingredient in perfume.
  • Biocontrol: none.
  • Cultural control: hand-weed, dig out, slash (follow-up with herbicide). Clean machinery/vehicles; quarantine livestock 1 week between infested and ‘clean’ pastures. Sheep, goats and camels will eat it.
  • Chemical control: in Australia, diuron; metsulfuron-methyl; glufosinate-ammonium; dicamba; tebuthiuron; aminopyralid + metsulfuron-methyl. Minor use permits have been given for: clopyralid; fluroxypyr; and triclopyr.
Common Name

Mimosa bush. It is also known as Ellington's curse (Fiji), huisache (a Spanish word for 'many thorns'), sweet acacia, cassie flower. CABI prefers huisache

Scientific Name

Acacia farnesiana; it was previously known as Vachellia farnesiana, Acacia minuta, and Mimosa farnesiana. It is a member of the Fabaceae. Note, that Jerusalem thorn is similar, has spines, and is also a member of the Fabaceae (see Fact Sheet no. 442).

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2019) Acacia farnesiana (huisache). Crop Protection Compendium. (; and Tahun U, Toran-Purba AV (2020) Acacia farnesiana (PROSEA). [email protected] (,A.,and%20by%20women%20after%20childbirth); and from Mimosa bush Acacia farnesiana (2020) The State of Queensland, Department of  Agriculture and Fisheries ( Photo 1 Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Photo 2 John Ruter, University of Georgia, Photo 3 Maksim. ( Wikipedia Commons. Photo 4 Margaret R Donald Vachellia farnesiana, Tarlee Road, Edgerol, inland, NSW. Photo 5 Don AW Carlson Acacia farnesiana Bark (synonym Acacia minuta) Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens.

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 and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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