Mimosa bush

Native to Central and South America, mimosa bush is a rounded shrub or small tree that can be confused with the declared weeds mesquite and prickly acacia. It forms thorny thickets that hinder mustering and stock access to water.

Mimosa bush is not a declared pest under Queensland legislation.

Scientific name

Acacia farnesiana, syn. Vachellia farnesiana


  • Rounded shrub or small tree 3-5m tall.
  • Branches are usually greyish-brown with prominent white spots, grow in a zigzag shape.
  • Leaves are pure green or sometimes yellowish green, ferny, with 1-6 pairs of leaf 'branches' each with 5-20 pairs of narrow, rounded leaflets 4-8mm long.
  • Thorns are paired at base of each leaf, up to 10cm long.
  • Flowers are ball-shaped, about 1cm wide, golden yellow to orange, grow on stalks.
  • Pods are dark brown or black, woody at maturity, with seeds embedded in pith.


  • Prefers dry localities, and loamy or sandy soils.
  • Forms thickets along watercourses.
  • Withstands drought well, readily eaten by stock, has good regrowth after grazing.

Distribution in Queensland

  • Widespread in Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Flowers autumn to early summer.



  • Forms thorny thickets that hinder mustering and stock access to water.

How it is spread

  • Spread by movement of seed.


Herbicide control

Basal bark spray
  • For stems up to 15cm in diameter, carefully spray completely around base of plant to 30cm above ground level. Thoroughly spray into all crevices. Larger trees may be controlled by spraying to greater height, up to 100cm above ground level.
  • Best time for treatment is during autumn when plants are actively growing and soil moisture is good.
Cut stump treatment
  • At any time of year, cut stems off horizontally as close to ground as possible. Immediately (within 15 seconds) swab cut surface with herbicide mixture.
Bore drains
  • Seek technical advice on options for treating channels such as bore drains.

See the Mimosa bush fact sheet (PDF, 925KB) for herbicide control and application rates.

Biological control

  • No known biological control agents.
  • However, mimosa bush is attacked by many native insects associated with Australian native acacias and other native plants. Sporadic dieback of mimosa bush has also occurred throughout western Queensland.

Declaration details

  • This is not a declared species under the Land Protection (Pest and State Route Management) Act 2002 but may be declared under other legislation or local government law.

More information

Contact us

Call your local government office, or Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

Last updated
25 November 2015