Mysore thorn

Native to India and South East Asia, Mysore thorn is a robust, thorny, evergreen shrub.

Common in South East Queensland, it can invade areas and form impenetrable thickets.

Mysore thorn is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Caesalpinia decapetala

Other names

  • Wait-a-while, wait-a-bit


  • Robust, thorny, evergreen shrub 2-4m tall, or climber to 20m, often forming dense thickets.
  • Bark is rough at base of plant and smoother, cream-green above.
  • Stems are prickly, densely covered with tiny, golden hairs.
  • Leaves are dark green with paler underside, bipinnate, up to 30cm long.
  • Leaflets are 7-18mm long, arranged in pairs along prickly rachis.
  • Flowers are white to pale yellow in elongated, erect clusters 10-35cm long.
  • Pods are brown, woody, flattened, smooth, unsegmented, with prominent, thorn-like beak.
  • Pods are 6-10cm long, 25mm wide.
  • Seeds are brown and black, 6-10mm wide.


  • Prefers disturbed areas, waterways, pastures, gardens and along roadsides.


  • Common in South East Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Flowers mostly during winter and spring.
  • Fruit appear during spring and summer.



  • Invades forest margins and gaps, roadsides and watercourses to form impenetrable thickets.

How it is spread

  • Seeds spread by humans, water and animals.


Physical control

  • Hand-pull or uproot seedlings and saplings.

Herbicide control

See the Mysore thorn fact sheet (PDF, 306KB) for herbicide control and application rates.

Biological control

  • No known biological control agents.

Legal requirements

  • Mysore thorn is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. However, by law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control.
  • Local governments must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants and animals in their area. This plan may include actions to be taken on certain species. Some of these actions may be required under local laws. Contact your local government for more information.

Further information