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Brazilian jointvetch

Native to tropical America, Brazilian jointvetch is a perennial legume. It invades grassy understoreys in open tropical woodlands and offers little value as cattle feed.

Brazilian jointvetch is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Aeschynomene brasiliana


  • Perennial legume generally low-growing but can be up to 2m tall.
  • Stems are bristly and sticky with crisp hairs, woody near crown.
  • Leaves are 2-3cm long with up to 22 leaflets per leaf; leaflets to 15mm long and 3-8mm wide.
  • Flowers are yellow.
  • Pods have 2-5 segments.
  • Seeds are dark brown, about 2mm long and 1-1.5mm wide.


  • Adapted to seasonally dry tropical areas.
  • Prefers open eucalyptus woodland in seasonally dry tropics of North Queensland.
  • Prefers sandy soils of near-neutral pH.


  • Occurs in small populations near Mackay and Ravenswood.



  • Invades grassy understoreys in open tropical woodlands, but does not appear to replace pasture plants or native understorey plants.

How it is spread

  • Seeds spread by cattle and other animals.
  • Legume seeds often persist in soil.



  • Damaged by botrytis stem rot caused by Botrytis cinerea, which is most pronounced in specimens grown to produce commercial seed crops (because botrytis development is favoured by flowering and by moist conditions that often prevail at flowering time).

Legal requirements

  • Brazilian jointvetch 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